Back to Normal Party

It’s been a very long time between parties for our group. Covid restrictions had prevented us from having large social events for over two years, so Friday’s party (June 10) was a significant one. It was a wonderful opportunity for members old and new to enjoy one another’s company in a relaxed setting.

Former members, who’d moved away from Fingal, were happy to accept their invitations. Current members looked unrecognisable without their working clothes and hi vis vests. It was time for glamour, singing and dancing at Peacock’s bar in River Valley. 

The management provided us with large platters of finger food, as a thank you for the work we do in the community. The staff looked after us very well, while we partied until 1 am.

Andy and Lorcan, our disc jockeys, played toe-tapping music which got everyone up dancing. They also organised our enthusiastic singers, keen to show their skills at karaoke. 

Fingal county councillors from different political persuasions joined us on the dance floor and really enjoyed the festivities. 

It was also a great opportunity to celebrate a very special birthday. Rose, who’s in charge of our polytunnel, was thrilled with the surprise 70th birthday cake, organised by our group.

Despite the late night, we had a good turnout on Saturday morning for our work session. 

“Walk & Weed” – Biodiversity Week Event

On Saturday morning, May 15, several STT members joined members of Swords Woodland Association for a weeding session at Swords Manor.  Orla from Easytreesie had organised two sessions for that day. We were joined by Councillor Ann Graves and her young grandson. It was lovely to see several other primary school children and their parents taking part in these weeding sessions too.

Orla explained why it was preferable to stomp on the weeds surrounding the young trees, that we’d planted on earlier occasions. The usual method of pulling out the weeds caused more disturbance to the plants, and some could be pulled out accidentally. Once the area adjacent to the trees had been flattened, mulch would be added to deter the growth of grass and weeds. 

Young and old enjoyed the unusual experience of stomping around individual trees, flattening vegetation that was in competition with our young trees. The Spring sunshine and Orla’s chocolate added to the festive mood. 

After a reviving hot drink at the local pub, many of us stayed for the afternoon session. We were joined by several new enthusiastic “stompers”. It was pleasing to see how much could be achieved in one day.

Preservation of Monastic Heritage in Swords

A management plan for St Werburghs Well was a pre-condition by Fingal County Council of them awarding planning permission to Ryanair to build a car park.
As of yet a proper public right of way for access to the Well has not been put in place. Swords Tidy Towns is working with Cllr Joe Newman to have this right of way introduced either by FCC or Ryanair.
The Well has been deleted from the record of Protected Structures by FCC, it was first given protection under the 1993 Dublin County Development Plan.

St Werburghs monument number is: DU011-045
Map no: 2994
National Grid: 31849/24582
Townland Street Name: Crowscastle
Classification: Holy Well
The Well is protected under Section 12 of the National Monuments (Amended) Act of 1994
Fingal County Council RPS No. 371
St Werburgs Well is a natural spring Holy Well and predates the 1700’s.

Following on from my extensive enquiries as Chairman of Swords Tidy Towns I have linked up with the Construction Manager of Ryanair who has agreed a budget with me for €5000 to carry out the necessary work required.

Annual River Ward Cleanup

The weather was just perfect for STT’s river cleanup on Saturday, May 28. We had an pleasing turnout of volunteers of all ages, who were keen to tackle the litter in the River Ward. Those wading in the river passed up bags of discarded bottles, cans and general waste to the helpers on the banks. In total 21 bags of litter were taken to the designated collection point. 

Saturday’s haul also included: two office chairs, a car battery, a pallet, a traffic cone, five jumpers (including a Christmas-themed one), and a pair of shoes. 

While one team was engaged in the river cleanup, another team met at our polytunnel to prepare donated plants for re-potting in the Town Centre Mall. Marie, a keen gardener and a member of the Women’s Shed, joined us for the first time. 

Many of the existing,  tired-looking plants at the mall were then replaced by our volunteers. The remainder of this work will be completed in the coming week.

Councillor Anne Graves and her grandson Noah, (a budding gardener), joined us at the mall for the planting. 

The local businesses were very pleased with the result so far.

Fingal Connects Business Expo

Representatives of STT attended the inaugural Fingal Chambers Connects Expo 2022, which was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Conference Centre on Thursday, May 26. Throughout the day a video showing the variety of our regular tasks and our major projects ran on a loop on a large tv screen. This very professional video was produced by Alan, a member of our group.

It was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet business representatives from the Fingal area, and to make them aware of the extent of our efforts on behalf on the Swords community. Ideally this will result in new sponsorships for our planned projects. 

Without the generous sponsorship of Donal O’Ciobhain, owner of SuperValu Boroimhe, our appearance at this Expo would not have been possible. We really appreciate his wonderful, ongoing support of Swords Tidy Towns. 

Swords St. Patrick’s Day Parade

On the morning of St Patrick’s Day the streets of Swords were lined with thousands of excited adults and children. 

They enthusiastically applauded and cheered, as dozens of community groups paraded through the town centre for the first time since 2019.

The theme for the 2022 parade was “Essential Workers”. Swords Tidy Towns members produced posters depicting those workers, who’ve been valiantly carrying out their duties throughout the Covid pandemic.

Posters carrying important environmental messages were also produced and carried by our members and supporters. 

We also featured pollinator-friendly flowers, which we have been planting at various sites in our town. Bees and other pollinators are essential workers too. 

Marching in front of us under their own banner were members of the Swords Woodland Association. Over the past few years STT has been involved in their invaluable tree planting projects. 

Also in the parade were students from the Fingal Community College. Many of their wonderful Transition Year students have been helping STT with litter picking and gardening on Saturday mornings. 

This year our group decided to donate half of the proceeds from our bucket collection towards humanitarian aid in war-torn Ukraine. We thank the people of Swords for their generous support.

Our Chairperson Ken Duffy presented a cheque for 500 euros to the Red Cross for this cause. 

Clean Air Together

“Clean Air Together project involves members of the public and the business community measuring Dublin’s air quality. It is a citizen science project where approximately 1,000 participants are recording levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution in their local area. It is a joint project between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce.” (Clean Air Together, 2021)

Swords Tidy Towns are absolutely delighted that six of our volunteers have been selected to take part in this project.

Watch the video below to see some of the captured moments during the duration of this project.

Commemorative Garden for Frontline Workers

Swords Tidy Towns Commemorative Garden is dedicated to the frontline workers who braved the Covid 19 pandemic tending to the needs of others. Our Nurses, our Doctors, our Ambulance Crews who tended the sick, our Garda who kept us safe, our Shop Workers who kept food on our tables, our Care Workers who visited the infirm in their houses and who ran our Nursing Homes, our Fire Fighters who supported medical crews as well as attending fires, our teachers who worked tirelessly throughout with remote learning, our first responders, our Civil Defense, our Council Workers, in particular the Operations Department of FCC.

These groups risked their own good health during the height of the pandemic, and we are forever grateful to them for doing so. If we have left out any group we do apologise. The Commemorative Garden is also a place for reflection, a place of quiet contemplation for those who have lost loved ones to this terrible virus.

Swords Tidy Towns wish to thank the Deputy Mayor Cllr Daniel Whooley for officiating at the launch of their Commemorative Garden, and to the public representatives who attended on the day.

We also wish to thank the DAA who provided the funds which allowed us to complete the project, FCC for allocating the plot to us, O’Brien Landscaping for donating the beautiful marble bench and for digging out the flowerbed.

Last, but by no means least, this project would never have come to fruition without the dedication and hard work of dedicated STT volunteers. A special mention must be given to Mary Maxwell, Rose Brennan, Ramune Kuzminiene, Teresa Cosgrave, Grace Dunne, Gerry Brennan and Matt Cullen whose incites, vision, and boundless energy throughout the whole project is a reflection of the wealth of talent Swords Tidy Towns now have within our ranks.

Pakman Awards 2021

Swords Tidy Towns were finalists in 2021 Pakman Excellence In Waste Management & Recycling Awards held in the Shelbourne Hotel last Friday night. We were finalists in the Environmental Education & Awareness Initiative category.  A great night was had by our members who attended Rose and Gerry Brenan, Georgy Hughes, Matt Cullen and Ken Duffy. However we would never have had the opportunity to attend if it was not for the generosity of our sponsors. Supervalu Boroimhe, The Old Schoolhouse, Hennessy & Perrozzi Solicitors, Redmond Property and Cllr Joe Newman, thank you one and all for your generosity.

The night of the awards at the Shelbourne Hotel on the 29th of October, 2021.