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Kildare Observer






"What improvements are being made in Newbridge?" The remark was made, as readers who know Newbridge must observe, by a person who was not in Newbridge for some time past. Naas cannot have it all its own way in the matter of improvements. There is a progressive rival in Newbridge. In Naas they may boast of bringing about new and up-to-date improvements recently. But Newbridge is not behind the times either. Building improvements are also carried on there. For instance there’s the new hotel. With that spirit of enterprise which always characterised him Mr. Harrigan took over the old premises which bore the name of the Prince of Wales’ Hotel, a prominent looking building which used to attract attention as persons entered the town from the Naas side. Those old premises are no longer in existence; they are replaced by a building of the most up-to-date type. By the way, it may be interesting to mention that the old hotel got its name in a most peculiar way. In 1861 the Prince of Wales was passing through Newbridge with his regiment, the Rifles, when he stopped at the hall-door of the hotel, then owned by a man named Johnston, and procured some refreshments. The owner being a man with a keen sense of business immediately got permission to name the hotel after his Royal Highness. And this was done. So the story goes at all events.

These are the premises, as we have said, that Mr. Harrigan took over. But now there is a complete change. The tumble-down ruins were practically levelled and a substantial new building has been erected in their stead. Of course it is not quite finished yet, but it is expected that in about a month from hence the best and most up-to-date house in the town will be the


as it called. The bar portion is finished and was opened last Friday, with great eclat-the new proprietor having entertained a number of personal friends on the occasion. The hotel proper is yet in the hands of the builders, but, as we have said, it will be finished in about a month. There will be a dozen bedrooms, spacious and airy; the usual commercial dining and smoking rooms, while a splendid large room is being prepared for the benefit of excursion parties or other parties who may have occasion to hold a big dinner or social gathering. The bar is certainly equipped in the newest style. Everything is done on a lavish scale and, as the public will be glad to hear, none but the very best brands of drink procurable will be supplied, and it may be mentioned that he has procured a first-class manager in the person of Mr. Denis Doyle, late of Mr. Murphy’s, Capel Street, Dublin. Visitors to the town cannot help being struck with the imposing-looking building which is now Mr. Harrigan’s. Its appearance gives that part of the town where it is situate a smart look-it is certainly an immense improvement. But this is not the first of Mr. Harrigan’s enterprises. Our readers, we are sure, are too familiar with his successes as a car-owner and hackney exhibitioner at the Royal Dublin Horse Show to need recapitulation here. Suffice it is to say he provides the best horse-flesh and the neatest cars in his own part of the country, a fact testified to by the prizes he captured in late years at the Royal Dublin Society’s Show. This year, it is interesting to note, he will have no less than five exhibits at the coming Show-Maureen (mare), in the hackney car class; Highland Lass, a five-year-old, in class 43 (cab); and Highland lad in class 42. Both are entered as a pair in class 30. Also Master Joey, in class 42 (hackney); Pride, by Pride of Prussia, in class 30, single harness. This horse has already taken two firsts and two seconds at the shows. Highland Lass, it may be mentioned, is by Mountain Deer, the property of our townsman, Mr. N.J. Flanagan, T.C.

We wish Mr. Harrigan every success in all his undertakings.

The Kildare Observer of 13 August 1898 reported on the re-development of the old Prince of Wales Hotel by prominent local businessman, Edward Harrigan.

[Compiled by Mario Corrigan; edited by Niamh McCabe; typed by Niamh Mc Cabe and Sarah Luttrell]

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