Tree planting for Science Week

This year, as part of the Science Week (10-17 Nov 2019 ) Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), in partnership with Coillte, have launched a nationwide tree planting initiative which seen 30, 000 saplings being planted across the country.

Swords Tidy Towns have joined Swords Woodland Association, Fingal County Council and the Easy Treesie – Crann Project to help plant 1,000 Coillte saplings with their community as a Climate Action.  The mix of oak, alder, willow and birch has been planted in the Ward River Valley “The Jacko” and Broadmeadow Linear Park. A few trees have been also planted at the Malahide road roundabout by our Swords Tidy Towns volunteers.

Table Quiz Night

On Thursday 24th of October we had our annual Quiz Night to rise funds for Swords Tidy Towns. It was a fantastic success which is due to the people of Swords who came out in large numbers to support us. The final total raised was nearly €1,500. There were a few hiccups during the night mainly the sound system and the answers check list sheets at the end. This was all due to a few last-minute problems which came up earlier in the day which was beyond the control of the pub management. Swords Tidy Towns wish to thank the staff and management of the Borough Pub for pulling it off so we didn’t have to cancel the evening. We hope it didn’t spoil your enjoyment too much. A big thank you must also go to all the local businesses who gave so generously we couldn’t have done it without you. Well done to all the Quiz winners and those who picked up a raffle prize on the night, we look forward to your continued support into the future in helping us to bring the Gold Medal to the beautiful town of Swords next year.

A full house
Swords Tidy Towns volunteers: Matt, Sandra and Georgy
The Chairman of Swords Tidy Towns – Ken with his family and friends

Re-use and upcycle of discarded musical instruments initiative

Swords Tidy Towns have instigated an Upcycling initiative which involves finding new homes for unwanted Musical Instruments. The initiative was a great success with the two local schools we approached. Their music teachers were delighted to take the instruments from us saying it was a fantastic project. We have had expressions of interest from other schools in the Swords area who would like to link up with us on this project.
Swords Tidy Towns are sending out a request to our many followers and their families and friends to contact us if they are willing to donate a musical instrument in reasonable condition to be used in a teaching environment. Any musically orientated groups out there in need of instruments who wish to partake in this project please register your interest and we will contact you. The contact for donations and registering is Ken Duffy Chairperson 0866008313.

Loreto College students with their music teacher Brian
Fingal Community College Students Choir Group

Solo Art Exhibition

Matt Cullen has devoted most of his adult life to volunteering in his community, and he continues to do so. Fifty percent of the proceeds from Matt’s exhibition will go to a project which is close to his heart – the Irish Lung Fibrosis Association (ILFA).

The exhibition will run from October 22d to October 25th 2019 in the Atrium of the FCC offices in Swords.
Please make the effort to come and support Matt’s exhibition, just as he has supportd the town of Swords over many years through his voluntary work.

Greener Community Awards

On the evening of October 3d, some members of STT attended the Greener Community Awards. It was a great opportunity to mingle with fellow Fingal volunteers and to enjoy good musical entertainment. Well done to all the worthy winners, and well done to FCC for staging the event so well in Swords this year.

Silver Medal

On Monday, September 30, a group of excited Swords Tidy Towns members attended the National SupaValu Tidy Towns Awards ceremony at The Helix. Having increased our membership since last year, and having successfully finished some new projects, we were hopeful of retaining our silver medal status. Indeed, we were awarded a silver medal for the third successive year. Later we were to learn that we had advanced by 6 points, and had only fallen short of gold by a mere 4 points! If we can maintain our current momentum, hopefully we will achieve the magic number in 2020 and hit that gold medal target!

Matt Cullen, a dedicated, long-term member of STT, was shortlisted for this year’s “Community Hero” award. He won a “Highly Commended Award”, which acknowledges those volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty in keeping their towns tidy. Well done Matt!

That evening we met up in Wright’s Bar in Swords to celebrate our success. The management there kindly provide us with tea and coffee every Saturday, while we relax and socialise after a hard morning’s work. In appreciation of STT’s efforts to improve the town, Wright’s management generously provided us with food and champagne on Monday night.

Joining our celebration was another very generous sponsor, Donal O’Ciobhan, who is the manager of SupaValu in Boroimhe. He had also joined us for the awards ceremony, and was very positive about our achievements. Throughout the year, Donal has been our main sponsor. His generosity and support is much appreciated by all of our members.

It was a wonderful social evening, where we celebrated our success. But we won’t be resting on our laurels.

Ken Duffy with our main sponsor Donal O’Ciobhan Boroimhe SuperValu
Matt Cullen (left) won a Highly Commended Award
Champagne courtesy of Wright’s Bar


Members of STT were particularly interested in the episode of “Nationwide”, which went to air on RTE 1 on Friday, 27 September. At last they would be able to see the segment that was filmed on June 26. A crew from “Nationwide” had been sent to do a follow up on our 2017 “Diversity Award” win. In fact, the number of members from different cultural backgrounds has now increased to 14 – within a core group of 30 members. This is a true reflection of the multicultural nature of Sword’s general population. In her interview Isa Sawad, a Phd student originally from Iraq, told of her reason for joining Tidy Towns. She realised that it was the best way to improve her local environment. Speaking equally passionately about improving our town were Ramune Kuzminiene from Lithuania and Daniella Turrini from Italy, who have settled down in Swords with their young families. Their children, aged from 6 to 8, regularly come out to help us on Saturday mornings.
Also interviewed were retired couple, Rose and Gerry Brennan, who are dedicated to growing and maintaining our plants. During the summer months, they go out on two extra nights every week. Rose also spoke about the camraderie and fun shared by our group.
Talents of some of our other members were also highlighted by “Nationwide”. Matt Cullen spoke enthusiastically about the projects in which he and Mary Maxwell have been involved. He is a talented artist, and Mary does a wonderful job choosing appropriate plants for different areas. They were the masterminds behind our “Inclusiveness” project, which celebrates the positive ethos of STT. At the Malahide Road roundabout, the sleepers show our values, and our plants have transformed a former piece of waste ground. These two were also involved in a joint project with Fingal County Council. The “Rock Garden”, which featured in the show, has become a place for young and old to relax. An empty green field has become an oasis of peace for our townfolk thanks to the tranquil rock garden, imaginative sculpture and seating arrangements.
Our chairman, Ken Duffy, explained how our Polytunnel is used for educational purposes such as the YouthReach programme, as well as a means of growing our plant stock.
“Nationwide” shone a very positive spotlight on the work done by all our dedicated volunteers. They were filmed working hard on yet another ambitious project – making the area by the Ward River an attractive area for locals to enjoy. On that glorious summer day, the whole town looked at its best with its hanging baskets and planters bursting with colour. With Swords Castle in the background, it looked like an ideal tourist spot.
For those who missed the show or who would like to see it again, it can be accessed on RTE Player.

Rose and Gerry Brennan