Congratulations to our 3rd Ladies junior team who won the league today ..first year playing together and have won league and championship a lovely mix of young girls and a few Gaelic for Mothers taking the step up .. well done in 2021 to all the players , coaches and management.

The Inter Hurlers also finished off a hugely successful season with a fantastic game against Castleknock which went to extra time and penalties in front of a great home crowd. Congratulations to the players and mentors for a fantastic season of hurling - looking forward to 2022!

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A team of Green Schools students from St Finians Community College planted 115 trees beside the Brackenstown Road on Thursday 2nd of December. A huge thank you to the inspirational Orla Farrell from Easy Treesie, Edward Stevenson from the Swords Woodland Association and Councillor Joe Newman. Well done to all for taking care of our future environment. To learn more about Orla’s work @easytreesie @plantfortheplanet_official

By Ken Duffy

2021 was a productive and successful year for Swords Tidy Towns, which in its self is remarkable considering our volunteers had to work through a pandemic to achieve this. Right from the start of the Covid 19 crisis our volunteers wished to continue on working as best they could, by working in pods they were able to achieve this. The crisis actually increased our membership. People who were stuck at home through no fault of their own found they had time on their hands and wanted to do something positive with that time by helping in their community. We have over forty members on our books at present and we are always looking for new members, Swords is a big place and it continues to grow. We linked up in 2021 with numerous Swords groups who wished to contribute by doing litter picking or planting around the town for us. These included the National Learning Network, Youthreach, McVery Trust, St Michaels House, others we have worked with are Prosper Fingal and Anew. Our Chairman sits on the board of directors of both the Fingal Leader Partnership and the Valley Project. We started and completed our Frontline Workers Commemorative Garden opposite the fire brigade station. We have planted flower beds and rockeries down River Mall and along the river towards the Old Schoolhouse. We completed a beautiful wild life mural funded by a grant from Fingal County Council on Brackenstown Rd at the lane entrance to the park. We linked up with the Swords Woodland Association and Fingal County Council on a project to plant 3000 trees. We agreed to take on 23 TY students from Fingal and Swords Community Colleges each Saturday for 20 weeks to help them achieve their Gaisca Medal Awards. Our Rock Garden on the Rathbeale Road a collaboration with Fingal County Council won another International Green Flag Award. We were finalists in this year’s Pakman National Awards, we won a Silver Medal in the National Tidy Towns Competition making that four in a row. A very good year.All of this, everything achieved, is down to the continuing hard work of our members, their love of their town and their ambition to make Swords the best it can be, roll on 2022.

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Congratulations to the Fingallians Hurlers and Mentors on beating Erins Isle to win the Dublin Go Ahead Intermediate Hurling Championship recently with a scoreline of 1-18 to 0-10 points. It was an absolutely fantastic display of hurling throughout the game and it goes to show that all the hard work and early morning training sessions have paid off.

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With all sport back in action, Swords Tennis Club has celebrated a return to the courts by being presented with a Tennis Ireland Bronze Clubmark Award. The Award aims to identify, develop, accredit and recognise high quality tennis clubs in Ireland and their contribution to the development of tennis in Ireland. Mayor of Fingal Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh commented: “I would like to say a huge Comhghairdeas ó chroí libh to Swords Tennis Club on the Tennis Ireland Bronze Clubmark Award. The club committee and volunteers have put in a lot of time and hard work over the past number of months and years and this award celebrates that passion and dedication.”Presenting the Award, Shane Cook, President of Tennis Ireland said: “It was a great pleasure to present Swords Tennis Club with this accolade. Their enthusiasm and energy is infectious and shows how much the Club strives to be the best in its field.” Swords Tennis Club Chairperson Stephen Girvin commented: “What we thought might be an arduous task turned into one of the most rewarding club experiences. The process of putting together the requirements for the award, many of which we already had and guarded by former committee members, gave us a growing confidence in the way we were running the club.” Swords now takes its place amongst the other Tennis Ireland Clubmark accredited Fingal Tennis Clubs including Portmarnock Tennis Club, Donabate Portrane Tennis Club, Castleknock LTC, Sutton LTC, and Grove LTC. Tennis is a sport for life so if you are thinking of giving it a try, get in touch with the Fingal Tennis Development Officer to find out how you can get involved in your local area, Contact:tara.rdo@tennisireland.ie

It has been a very busy and fruitful 2021 for Swords Tidy Towns considering the country is going through a major pandemic. We worked on and completed our Frontline Workers Commemorative Garden. We linked up with both Fingal and Swords Community Colleges to accommodate 23 of their TY students each Saturday for a 20-week period. We were finalists in this year’s Pakman National Awards, our mural on the Brackenstown Road is on its way to completion. Swords Tidy Towns linked up with the Swords Woodland Association on a 3000-tree planting project. The Rock Garden on the Rathbeale Road which is a collaboration between ourselves and Fingal County Council achieved yet another Green Flag Award. The icing on the cake for us was winning yet again a Silver Medal in the National Tidy Towns Competition making it four in a row, maybe Gold next year, fingers crossed.Swords Tidy Towns are very grateful for all the financial support received through the year from local business, without whose generosity we would have had to cut back on our projects. Thanks must also go to Fingal County Council and the various Dept Heads who have worked with us and who have provided us with their expertise when needed. A big thanks to our local Public Representatives for always being there for us. Finally, to you the wonderful Joe Public who have at all times been complimentary to our members when out working on our streets and for doing the same on our Facebook and Twitter pages. It is the support we get from all of you that feeds us, uplifts us and empowers us to do better things. To all the aforementioned, the volunteers of Swords Tidy Towns wish you all A Very Happy Covid Free Christmas and New Year.

Cllr Darragh Butler said recently that, “ MetroLink has been in the news quite a lot in recent days and weeks and unlike the national media and many other commentators, I would like to take the positives out of what was announced. The good news is that the planning application should go in next year, 2022, better late than never and depending on permission being granted, if work could then potentially start by 2025 with a delivery as early as 2031, that would be as good as we could hope for at this stage and I’d do cartwheels down Swords Main Street if this could be delivered as media reports back in October were saying 2034 or later. The positive news is that MetroLink remains a committed part of the National Development Plan and I will continue to work as hard as I can to get this project back on track and delivered as soon as possible. In terms of COP26 and getting to net zero carbon omissions and achieving the 1.5C temperature goal set, MetroLink and other large scale transport projects are vital as part of these solutions, to get traffic off our roads and to make public transport more attractive to commuters.”

Councillor Darragh Butler, Eilish Monaghan (Cousin), Councillor Brigid Manton and Councillor Cathal Boland attended the unveiling of a plaque on Sunday 7th November 2021 at Prosper Fingal School, Swords to honour Pte. Matthew Farrell who lost his life in the service of peace at Niemba, Congo on 8th November 1960. Prosper Fingal School, Swords.

In 1960, a civil war broke out in the former Belgian Congo. The United Nations intervened and an international force of army peacekeepers were sent there. This force included a contingent of Irish Army troops. On 8 November 1960, a patrol consisting of 11 members of the 33rd Battalion of the Irish Army, was ambushed by the local secessionist Baluba tribesmen. 8 of the patrol were killed, some clubbed to death and three survived by hiding in the bush. 1 was killed the following day, and 2 survivors were found later that day. Those who died at the spot were: Lt Kevin Gleeson from Terenure; Sgt Hugh Gaynor, Leixlip; Cpl Peter Kelly, Templeogue; Cpl Liam Dougan, Cabra; Pte Matthew Farrell from Swords; Pte Thomas Fennel, Donnycarney; Pte Gerard Killeen, Rathmines and Pte Michael McGuinn from Carlow were posthumously awarded medals in 1998.The two survivors were Trooper Thomas Kenny and Private Joseph Fitzpatrick.

The news that Riot Games, the developer and publisher best known for League of Legends, has chosen a location in Swords for its new Remote Broadcast and Content Production Centre has been welcomed by Fingal County Council. Announcing that the new digital broadcast and production facilities will open in Airside Retail Park by January 2022, the decision by Riot Games to expand their operations means over 120 new jobs will be created locally. Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly said: “This is a fantastic win for Fingal. It helps highlight the fact that we are well placed to attract international business and reaffirms our ambitions to provide sustainable economic growth and opportunities across the county. Our team have worked hard to secure this as a viable option for Riot Games as they look to expand their global esports capacity, so we are thrilled that they have chosen Swords as the first of three facilities that they will establish around the world as part of their follow-the-sun model.”

Swords Tidy Towns have been working very hard on their Bio Diversity agenda plan. We have planted Wild Flower Meadows and when putting down bedding plants we try always to use Bee and Insect Friendly plants. We are lucky to have a very dedicated team within our group who have taken on this invaluable work. They are currently looking for volunteers with a keen interest in gardening to help them by adopting one of their patches and tending to it. We are also seeking volunteers who are good at Bricklaying, local Artists who would consider giving up some of their free time to help with our Art Projects, people who are good with machinery for maintenance and repair of our machines.Our volunteers were busy this month in their homes to measure NO2 levels at different address areas around Swords, it will be really interesting to see the different air quality in those areas. Swords Tidy Towns are very excited to participate in yet another Citizen Science project. If you are interested in offering some of your free time to help with any of the aforementioned, please contact Ken on 0866008313 We continue to have a problem with graffiti in and around the Swords area. We have a very keen team of Graffiti Cleaning Warriors who have made it their mission in life to go out several days a week to combat this scourge, very successfully I might add. Swords Tidy Towns Mascot is a large Teddy Bear, we would love to have it fitted for a Swords Tidy Towns outfit just for him. If there is a talented seamstress who could help us out with this, we would love to hear from you. If your estate has a Residents Association, please register it with Swords Tidy Towns. We have a designated Res Ass Liaison Officer who would be only too happy to hear from you. Many estates have registered with us already and have benefited from their link up with us.Swords Tidy Towns volunteers continue to give up their free time to make their town a better experience for everyone, you can help, please bin your litter.

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