NEW NAAS STOCK MART OPENED
Leinster Leader 8 April 1978
New Naas stock mart opened
The new £200,000 mart at Caragh Road, Naas, run by Naas Livestock Mart Ltd., was blessed and officially opened on Friday by the very Rev. L. Newman, P.P, Sallins. The mart replaces the one which had operated for 13 years at the Fairgreen Naas.
The new mart is being run by Mr. Colm McEvoy, local auctioneer, who owned the former mart and operated it for some years with Mr. Jim Morrin, another local auctioneer. The new premises is in the ideal location about a mile form the town, and is on a 9-acre site which allows plenty of room for expansion. It has a capacity for 2000 cattle per sale day which will be on Fridays. It is hoped initially to sell 900-1000 beasts a week.
There are plans for a second sales ring. For the present, sales will be confined to cattle. There was a fair amount of cattle on offer at the opening sale held after the blessing. The first beast was sold to aid a local deserving charity. It was owned by Mr. Patrick Kerry, Emo, Portlaoise, and the shorthorn bullock, weighing 7cwt. 3 quarters was bought by Mr. John Good, Newhall, Naas, for £358. A cheque for that sum will be given to the local charity by the mart.
The old mart at the Fairgreen closed a few weeks ago. Mr. McEvoy has tentative plans to use it as a mart for sheep and pig sales as the concrete base and facilities remain. But he also outlined planning permission for a commercial shopping centre-cum office block on the part of the Fairgreen which he owns. He has not yet decided on the site’s future.
Naas Livestock Mart has an estimated turnover of £5m. a year and attracts buyers and sellers from the local meat factories, England, the Continent, and services farmers from Kildare, Wicklow, Laois, North Offaly and Carlow. Mr. McEvoy says that the departure form the old site was made imperative by the lack of space.
But the existence of the new enterprise was fraught with uncertaintly. Although the U.D.C members favoured strongly the move to the Caragh Road, its planning officers thought otherwise and planning permission was refused initially. At the time the route for the proposed bypass of Naas was being planned and it was considered that the mart was too near the new road. As well, the line for the bypass had not been firmly decided. However, Mr. McEvoy got planning permission to appeal to the Minister for Local Government, Mr. Tully.
Although the mart is situated off a narrow secondary road and in an area with bad bends, Mr. McEvoy does not welcome the bypass which will be 100 yards from the premises. He objects mainly on the grounds of noise, particularly as he lives in the area. The entrance to the mart will be via a slip-way, somewhat similar to the road arrangements at Goff’s livestock complex at Kill off the dual carriageway proper.
But the fear of pollution was also a factor in delaying building of the mart. North Kildare Anglers Association objected strongly as members feared that slurry from the premises would flow into the Liffey, thus endangering fish life. Mr. McEvoy is very forthright in his views about the objection. He says that he originally proposed to spread the slurry by mechanical means over 70 acres nearby. But the Council insisted on tests being carried out. They were undertaken by the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards, and the Co. Committee of Agriculture also conducted a survey.
“My view was vindicated thoroughly,” he said after the mart’s opening. “It was found that seven acres would be sufficient to absorb the slurry which would be spread on the land by mechanical means. A maximum of 14 acres was laid down, but I had a lot more available for the purpose.”
He is fulsome in his praise of Naas U.D.C. who he said had the foresight, when supporting his application over three years ago, to see into the future much better than the Council engineers. They knew that the mart was attended by local representatives, farmers and those engaged in agribusiness and the attendance included Mr. Charlie McCheevy, T.D., Mr. M. Lawlor, Chairperson, Naas U.D.C., and members of theUrban Council.
A highlight of the opening sale was the offering for purchase of two exceptional beasts, both Simmental bullocks of enormous girth: one weighing 18cwt, sold for £680 and the other, 16cwt., for £641. They were sold by Mr. Martin Murphy, Dowdenstown, Ballymore Eustace who had bought them at the old Naas mart two years previously for £165 each, but then weighing in at a mere 8cwt. each. They were bought by Premier Meat Packers in Sallins. Mr. Murphy said later that he was hoping they would be brought for the Continental trade, as they would have fetched a higher price. But he was highly pleased with the price he got for ten Friesian crosses averaging 12-3cwt. in weight, which went for £509 apiece.
Work started on the new mart in October and the main contractors were the National Excavation and Construction Company, Dublin Road, Naas, and the consultant engineer was Mr. Colm Hassett, Naas.
An article from the Leinster Leader of 8 April 1978 on the opening of the new Naas Livestock Mart at Caragh Road, Naas