TheCity.ie’s Kim O’Leary presents a collection of her own photos from her hometown of Newbridge, Co Kildare, where big and small businesses are fighting to adjust to restrictions – cautiously optimistic that their beloved town will one day flourish again.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed normal life as we know it, with many local businesses bearing the brunt of changes to the economic climate. And for my small rural town of Newbridge in Co Kildare, the difference between Newbridge before and during Covid-19 is startling; shops are closed, people now wear masks and gloves to the supermarkets and the atmosphere of dread and fear is palpable in the air.
Newbridge, officially known by its Irish name Droichead Nua, is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. While the nearby Great Connell Priory was founded in the 13th century, the town itself formed from the 18th century onwards. The town grew to include a military barracks which opened in the early 19th century, which continues to function.
In the 20th century the town saw great expansion of local business, and Newbridge began acting as a commuter town for Dublin. Over the last twenty years, the town has seen its population soar to 22,742 in the 2016 Census – making it the most populous town in Kildare.
St. Conleth’s GAA Park is located downtown, so when these two rival sides come together to play GAA, it’s sure to an entertaining display of Gaelic football prowess. In October 2019, Sarsfields were declared Kildare Senior Football Champions for the 25th time in their history after they claimed a six point victory over Moorefield in St. Conleth’s Park.