Dublin Community Clean-Up Event 2022

On September 10th, a sunny Saturday morning, the regular STT crew turned out in force for this event. Some of their family members attended too. 

It was also the first time that 30 of this year’s new Transition Year students from Fingal Community College joined us. 

Small groups of enthusiastic students were paired with  individual STT members, who took them to various locations on our regular rounds. 

Some were involved in weeding along the streets, and did a wonderful job. 

Others became experts at using their litter pickers after tackling rubbish around the town. 

Several groups joined up to tackle the weeding along the banks of the River Ward. With so many willing hands, this was done in record time.

It was wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to work together and to mingle socially. A fun, productive morning was had by us all. 

Swords Tidy Estates Competition

Swords Tidy Towns have once again joined forces with Greyhound Recycling to find Swords’ tidiest estate with this year’s “Tidy Estates Competition”.

The competition was last held in 2019 and thankfully with the pandemic over, 14 estates took up the challenge this year.

Judging took place earlier this month. Estates were awarded marks for the presentation of their common areas (40%); Gardens (30%) and house exterior (30%).

The winning estate, Carlton Court, will receive a prize of Eur 500, a free skip for clean – up’s and a winners plaque. Presentation to be completed in due course. The standard of entries was exceptional from beautiful floral displays at entrances to home- made bug hotels. Please see Greyhound’ link for more.

Swords Tidy Towns have made great strides in competing in the National Tidy Towns Competition in recent years, having won 4 silver medals since 2017.  We hope the Tidy Estates Competition will help us improve our position even further.

We thank Greyhound Recycling for coming on board to support us in our efforts.

Swords History Walk #2

STT’s second heritage walk with local historian Mike Power was scheduled for 14:30 on Saturday, September 3. Unfortunately the weather had other plans. Heavy showers continued all day and threatened to de-rail the outing.

Mike, ever resourceful, swiftly organised an alternative talk. In the comfort of the snug at The Arch Bar, the participants sipped tea and enjoyed two hours of local history. 

STT member, Grace, wanted to know more about the importance of the Ward River. Mike produced a model showing the geology of the area. He spoke about importance of the river in regard to the early monastic settlement in Swords through to Norman times. In 1200 John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin had Swords Castle built. His compassionate predecessor St Lawrence O’Toole was a friend to the poor. Comyn was more business-like, and set about growing the town of Swords to expand the income of his estate. The main street and its burgage plots were aligned on the castle. In order to attract settlers, he offered the same tax and privileges as those offered to those living in Dublin city. The burgesses, in return, had to pay an annual rent of twelve pence, and had to perform certain labour services for the archbishop.  Mike provided us with a map of buildings on Main Street in 1900, where this layout continued. Aerial photography shows that burgage plots were still visible off Swords Main Street in the 1980s.

Mike discussed important local identities such as parish priest John Carey who secured the site for St Colmcille’s church free of charge from James Taylor of Swords House in the 1820s: James Moss, a leader of the 1913 fight for the rights of farm workers: and A.J. Kettle, a founding member of the Irish Land League.

Light-hearted topics like 19th century street entertainment, and colourful local characters were covered too.

The success of the afternoon was due in part to the lively discussion and interesting contributions from locals, who’ve had connections with Swords over many years. 

Thank you Mike for a fun and informative session, and for answering our questions so well.

Swords History Walks

To celebrate Heritage Week 2022, Swords Tidy Towns organised a  history walk around the town. There was a great response to our advertisement online, and the tour on August 20 was immediately booked out. So a second tour has been organised for September 3. 

The leader for our history walks is Mike Power, a local historian. On Saturday he shared his extensive knowledge of the history of Swords from the time of St Colmcille through to the Vikings, the Normans and beyond. He also told stories about colourful characters associated with Swords, using historical pieces to illustrate his talk. The geology of the area was also discussed in layman’s terms.

The walk was attended by Independent Councilor Joe Newman, who said that he enjoyed Mike’s easy to understand talk about the geology of the area, and the great information about Swords history that he’d shared with the group. 

Mike Power’s next history walk on Saturday, September 3 is bound to be as informative and enjoyable. 

Heritage Walk

UPDATE: this walk is fully BOOKED OUT now, but due to a huge demand we are adding an additional date for the Saturday, 3rd of September, the same place and time. Booking is essential!

To mark Heritage Week 2022, Swords Tidy Towns are hosting a heritage walk “Discover the hidden built heritage of Swords”. This walk is kindly hosted by Mike Power. This is a free even, but places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

Tidiest Estate Competition

Swords Tidy Towns were delighted to secure the sponsorship of Greyhound  Household Waste Management once again for the 2022 “Tidiest Estate Competition”. This competition has been been popular since its inception in 2018. The high standards set by the entrants have helped STT in its overall placing in the National Tidy Towns Competition. 

Once again STT members, Grace Dunne and George Mongey, have liaised with Greyhound and have set up this year’s event. 

Entries will be judged by representatives of Greyhound and STT.  

Here’s your chance to win 500 euros in cash for use on common areas of your estate, a free skip and a plaque for the entrance to your estate.

You’ve got to be in it to win it!

Fingal Horticultural Society Show

Fingal Horticultural Society has been running its popular  annual show for 80 years. Unfortunately it had to be cancelled during the height of the Covid epidemic. After an absence of two years, it was held on bank holiday Monday, August 1, 2022. 

At last keen gardeners, cooks and artists had the opportunity to again display their talents. Budding young gardeners were encouraged to enter their imaginative efforts too. 

This year there were 350 entries from 43 exhibitors, 9 of whom were children. 

Amongst the winners this year were two very creative Swords Tidy Towns members, who are also members of FHS. Talented local artist Matt Cullen was awarded second prize in the art section.

Third place for the best hanging basket display went to George Mongey.

Our group was thrilled to be declared joint winners of the Fingal Horticultural Society Business Frontage Floral Award for 2022. This honour was shared with Fingal County Council for the wonderful floral displays along Swords Main Street. 

There to accept the award on behalf of STT were Mary Maxwell, Rose Brennan, Gerry Brennan, Teresa Cosgrave and Noel Cosgrave. 

Best Presented Business Frontage/Window Display Competition – 2022

The Best Presented Business Frontage/Window Display Competition commenced on the 21 st June 2022. This competition is a collaboration between Fingal Horticultural Society (FHS) and Swords Tidy Towns (STT) in as much as FHS provide the application forms and the certificates for the winners of the competition. STT scaled back on the amount of paperwork by only FHS having to print a limited amount of application forms. Prior to Covid-19, all the businesses in the town received application forms. This was somewhat wasteful because a number of forms were not returned.

The judging of the competition was carried out by STT members Georgy Hughes and Matt Cullen. All businesses in the town were looked at and any business who appeared to be making an effort were provided with an application form. Each of the businesses were informed that we would call back within a fortnight and they were informed that the closing date was the 9 th of July. The purpose of the advance notice period was to give businesses time to complete the form and allow them time to make any improvement to their shop frontage/window display, should they have wished to do so. The judges called back and collected the completed application forms and this amounted to a short list of ten businesses.

Both judges went back to view the shortlisted businesses and then select an overall winner of the STT Perpetual Cup and Gold Merit Certificate, also to select the winners for a Silver Merit Certificate and Bronze Merit Certificate.

The following businesses were presented with awards on July 25:
The Arch Bar was this year’s overall winner. The STT Perpetual Cup was presented to Des
Lawlor (proprietor) on behalf of the Lawlor family.

Des Lawlor, proprietor of The Arch Bar, which won 
 the STT Perpetual Cup for 2022

The Arch Bar also received the Gold Merit Certificate.

The Silver Merit Award went to Vincent’s. The certificate was presented to manager, Hong Maguire.

The winner of the Bronze Certificate was The Card and Party Store. Proprietor, Tom Hanley accepted this award.

All of the shortlisted businesses were revisited to let them know of the winners, and to thank them for their efforts in the competition.

Launch of Regional Dog Fouling Campaign

Director Dave Storey, Swords Tidy Towns members and Litter Warden Wendy

A Regional Dog Fouling campaign has been launched. The aim is to promote responsible behaviour in relation to dog ownership. Individuals, Communities and organisations are encouraged to join the campaign by using the sharing the assets to remind people to #BagItBinIt. More information can be found here

Social media assets have been provided and are available for downloading from Fingal County Council website or they can be shared directly from their social media – to your own social media platforms. There are several assets which concentrate on various aspects of everyday life.