by ehistoryadmin on May 29, 2015



One hundred years in business – particularly in the same premises – is a proud record for any family. It was achieved this week by Grehans of Naas. The end of May marked their 100th year trading under the motto “Everything for the Home” at South Main Street, and to celebrate it J. & G. Grehan Ltd. are holding a special sale in their house furnishing and fitting concern.

The Grehan business story goes back more than a century. Mr. John Grehan, who founded the business in 1876 at South Main St., had already been trading in the North Main St shop which is now Rooney’s. He came from Roberstown – a locality where the family name is still perpetuated by a property called Grehan’s Field – to serve his time in Cantrell’s of Naas. They were trading in the premises which later became McDonald’s and is now M. Prout’s.

Having served his time and traded for a period in North Main St., he acquired from the Misses Bird the present premises, in which the business has gone on to be located for a period few families can equal. Mr. Grehan’s wife was a Miss Nolan who taught in her native Rathmore and was also a poetess of considerable merit. She had quite an amount of her works published. What the younger generation of Naas people might not realise is that besides is successful drapery and hardware business, Mr. Grehan, grandfather of the present proprietors, Jim and Ger, also carried on a major service for the community in hard times through pawn-brokerage. This latter service continued right up to 1953, by which stage State and local services had extended to such an extent that it was anachronistic. The drapery section was dispensed with about the same time. Grehans had been the only pawn-brokers in the town.

In a national sense the business has continued to be characterised by this earlier service, for it still remains the policy of Grehans to afford easy terms and special discounts allied to an advisory service for the young homemakers, benefits to the community that initially motivated the establishment of the pawn-brokerage section and still have an echo in today’s shopping at Grehans. It can well be said that Grehans over the years have been not merely selling to the community but serving the community. Many newly-marrieds in particular look back gratefully on the home furnishing and fitting advice they received there; they wound yp buying not what they WANTED but what they NEEDED. This has always been a great maxim at Grehans, and as a result they are patronised by a satisfied clientele which extends to a radius of between 12 and 14 miles of the town.

After the passing of Mr. John Grehan, who was fatally injured by a horse tram in College Green, Dublin, in 1910, he was succeeded by his son, James, who had served his time in Henry St. Trading Co., Dublin, now Roche’s Stores. He died in 1930, and the business continued to be managed by his wife, Mrs. Catherine Grehan, up to her death in 1950. Their son, Ger, joined the business in the early ‘forties, and his brother, Jim, became associated with it around 1950. Each generation of the Grehan family and each member of it gave the business a personal stamp and continued to develop the property and the range of goods carried in it in line with the times. A completely new front modernised the exterior in 1953, and 4,000 sq. ft. of display area were added in 1962. The community service that is Grehans in business is matched by the present proprietors, Jim and Ger, in the social sphere. Both have been closely identified with organisations in their community for several years. Jim was a very well known minor and senior footballer with Co. Kildare and had the honour of representing his county in the 1942 Leinster Minor Final against Louth. He is a past Captain and past Treasurer of Naas Golf Club, and presently Assistant Treasurer. Ger, who of course is also prominent in public life through his membership of Naas Urban Council since 1964 and of Kildare County Council since 1973, is a past Chairman of Co. Kildare G.A.A. Board, and was secretary of Naas G.A.A. from 1942 until 1950. He is a founder member and past Chairman of the Moat Club, Naas among other social interests.

J. & G. Grehan Ltd. is a major name in carpets, blinds, furniture and cookers. A wide variety in designs and prices is always available. Besides the main lines in furniture, they also have wine tables, studio couches, lockers, lockers, stools, ottomans, coffee tables, fireside chairs, pouffes, tall tables, telephone seats, wrought iron tables etc. Miscellaneous lines include cocktail shakers, teak ashtrays, hearth furniture, companion ashtrays, drinking sets, brassware, cocktail sets, overmantels, log boxes, wallpapers, paints, Polycell tiles, Swish curtain rail and hundreds of others. Their china section embraces dinner services, tea sets coffee sets, morning sets, combination sets fruit sets, liquor sets and china suites.

Grehans quick and free delivery service will cover any distance. They also operate a gas delivery schedule which is among the few in this country. Your Kosangas will be delivered Monday mornings fortnightly to Broadford, Swordlestown, Gowan Grange, Punchestown, Newtown, Nunsland, Eadestown, Rathmore, Tipper East, Beggars End, Tipper, Fournaugts, Newhall, Halverstown, Gingerstown, Carragh, Yeowanstown, Raheens, Castlekelly, Thomastown, Newtown, Donore, Goatstown, Downings, Prosperous, Curryhills, Firmount, Millicent and Bodenstown. It is delivered every Wednesday afternoon to Sallins, Bodenstown, Castlesize, Sherlockstown, Killeenmore, Alasty, Bishopscourt, Castlewarden, Blackhill, Kill, Hartwell, Brookstown, Hainstown, Furness, Weston, Tubber, Kingsfurze, Fournaughts, Fishery Lane, Johnstown, Kerdiffstown, Palmerstown, Green Hills. Naas local deliveries are made every Saturday afternoon. Gas must be ordered before 1 p.m. for delivery in Naas. Mullacash, Stephenstown, Two Mile House, Killashee and Bluebell are serviced every Saturday. In regard to Monday deliveries, all orders must be with the office before 10 a.m. or alternatively one has only to leave empty cylinders in view for the driver.

Donal Murphy of Rathcoole is assistant manager to Jim and Ger Grehan, while Tommy Garvey of Swordlestown, Naas is their first class carpet layer besides being van-delivery man. In the office are Mrs. T. Lambe, Naas and Miss Catherine Doyle, Kileague. To J. and G. Grehan Ltd. we extend heartiest congratulations on the family’s 100 years of trading in South Main St. Naas, and wish them continued success. An indication of the firm’s undoubted popularity is the big number of associates and business and social acquaintances who extend them greetings in these pages.

Re-typed by Mary Murphy

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