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Medieval Baptismal Font at St. Colmcille's Church,
Swords, Co. Dublin.

POET OF FINGAL (McDonagh Trophy)
lst  Dan Redmond -' Ballymun MABS Welfare Office'
2nd Aaron Courtney, Dublin City - 'Youth Lost but Freedom Gained'
3rd  Miriam Scully, Donabate - 'Blue Day'

SHORT STORY (Tom O'Shea Shield)
1st Jacinta Lowndes, Swords:  'Man Made Rule'
2nd Jim Mulcahy, Balgriffin:  'Lollipop Lady - Hair Raising Tail'
3rd  Sean O'Doherty, Raheny:  The Road from Damascus'

WHAT SWORDS MEANS TO ME (Bridget Browne Trophy)

lst  Anne Lowndes Lawler, Swords/Donabate:  'A Snapshot of my 1940s/50s 
2nd  Marie Moffitt, Swords 'What Swords Means to Me'
3rd Nora Mulligan, Baldoyle:  'Swords - A Poem'

 We have been having a particularly busy time with all the 1916 commemorations in the Fingal area.  In our own group at least four members are sons and daughters of veterans of the Rising.    Some twenty six people buried in St Colmcille's Graveyard in Swords were involved in the Fight for Freedom in the Battle of Ashbourne or in Dublin City at the Mendicity Institute.   Various pictures on this page show descendants of these brave men and women participating the the various events organized by Fingal Co. Council and other local groups.  

At present our members are finishing research into those buried in the graveyard and it is hoped to present a video relating their history later on in the year.


Many thanks to those who supported the various events during the week:
Swords in old Photos at Swords Museum,
Tracing your Fingal Roots at Swords Museum.
1914 in Swords - walkabout the town.
Launch of Swords Voices in 'The Star'.
Literary Awards at Carnegie Court Hotel.
Launch of Images of Swords.
A particular success was walk around St. Colmcille's Graveyard on Aug. 31st.
Don't forget 'Swords Voices' now available at XL Newsagents, Main Street, Swords Museum Carnegie Library, North Street, also Spar, Swords Manor.
Phone 8400080   email:
Our new 2016 Swords Voices is available now 
The 23rd in the Swords Voices series was launched on Sept. 1st last.
This issue contains many stories of 'old Swords' interspersed with photos
old and new.  Stories include Mr James Bennett's  story of 45 years teaching
in St Colmcille's Boys' School, Swords.   Mrs Mary McCormack's tale of how she 
came to live in Swords via Mayo when she was 6 years old.  Memories of 
Swords in days gone by. Mrs Mary Graham, remembered by her daughter Mary and
her shop on North Street.   The Weston ladies in 1916 Rising also 1798. 
Tale of the Kelly Brothers who fought at Ashbourne and GPO during Easter
Week 1916 - varies snippets and poems for your entertainment..


Read stories of Swords from memories of those who helped to make it happen. This year it features 'Musings on 1916' together with Community activist Paddy Gerard, still active at over 80 years,  Helen Cottrell McLoughlin who sent her memories from Atlanta USA,  Mrs Mary Greenan now aged 95 who came to Swords 60 years ago; also winning stories and poems from 2014.


Poet of Fingal (McDonaghTrophy)

1st Moira Burke, Dublin 17 - 'I'm Still Here'
2nd Michael Burke, Lusk - 'A Simple Twist of Fate'
3rd Paddy Ryan, Malahide - 'Children of Lir'.

Short Story Competition (Tom O'Shea Plaque)

1st Paddy Ryan, Malahide 'The Cubby House'
2nd Jim Mulcahy, Balgriffin, 'The Visit'
3rd Tony Devlin, Blancharstown, 'Bread'.

What Swords Means to Me Competition (Bridget Browne Trophy)

Winner:  Maria Dullaghan, Swords  'Swords'
Runner Up; Marie  Moffett, Swords. 'My Swords''


Short Story Competition: ( Tom O'Shea Trophy)
lst:   Tony Devlin, Blanchardstown  'Midnight on the 99X'
2nd  Jim Reid, Swords  'Pictorial Knowledge'
3rd    Nora Mulligan, Donaghmede - 'Bringing Paudeen Home'

Poet of Fingal Competition (M. McDonagh Trophy)
lst  Fiona Irwin, Garristown - 'Lough Crew'
2nd Chris McGeough, Portmarnock - 'Christmas Diet'
3rd  Breda Nathan, Glasnevin - 'Nobbled'

What Swords Means to Me (Bridget Browne Trophy)
lst Hazel Cassidy, Swords - 'A Town Life No Other'
Runner Up: Philomena Kealy, Swords 'Swords'



1st   The Tuesday Outing, Paddy Ryan, Malahide
2nd  ‘Cosmo’s Wonderland, Isobel Smyth, Portmarnock
3rd ‘Matthew’  Tony Devlin, Blanchardstown.
1st  Prize Winner hold the Tom O’Shea for a Year.  

1st ‘Husband’  Alyn Fenn,Cork
2nd ‘A Wedding In Certaldo Alto’  Tony Devlin, Blanchardstown
3rd ‘Autumn Twilight  Brigid  Flynn, Tallaght
1st Prize Winner holds the McDonagh Trophy for one year

1st ‘Visits to Home’  Paddy Savage, Chicago
Runner Up:   What Swords Means to Me’ Geraldine McGovern, Swords.

 SWORDS HISTORICAL SOCIETY members were saddened at the death of Mrs. Margaret Thorpe who was active in the society since it began in 1982.  She died on August 25th aged 93 years.  A stalwart of our group, always ready to help where needed; she is sadly missed by the community of Swords.


proved to be as popular as ever.  Because of the economic climate we decided to combine two of our events. Consequently the Literary Awards and launch of Swords Voices happened the same night; the 28th Aug. in The Star, Swords.      Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Cian O’Callaghan was on hand to launch the 19th in the Swords Voices series and present the prizes for the various literary contests. Unfortunately the winner of the poetry competition lives in Cork and could not be there on the night.  He has to be content with a photo of his Trophy!

We are most grateful to those who have supported us over the years and who have been more than generous again this year including:  Fingal Co. Council, Organon (I) Ltd., Tara Winthrop Clinic, Mrs Mary McCormack., Freight Management.  JCs, Taylors the Star, Carnegie Court Hotel.

The Heritage Hamper presented by JCs was won by Peadar Bates of Donabate Historical Society.  It was full of goodies from JCs – Heritage being their ‘own brand’ at their well-known local Supermarket.

We also celebrated 30 years of Swords Historical Society and the last event of the week was the popular Art Exhibition at St Columba’s Church.    While giving local artists a forum for their work, the event also encourages people up to the heritage site which is where Swords was founded in 650 AD when St. Colmcille’s established his monastic settlement.  
The week was rounded off by a walk around historic Swords organised by the local Tidy Towns Group with our society members along to fill in on snippets of local history. Bernie Leneghan of our society had his video camera so no doubt some footage of the event will fill in some winter evenings.

Again, many thanks to all you have supported our effort.


SWORDS HISTORICAL SOCIETY  is 30 years old this year.
It began at a meeting of likeminded people in March 1982 at Swords Old Borough School.   Many people have volunteered over the years and the Society is responsible for spearheading many projects of a heritage and cultural nature in the greater Swords area. Swords Museum, Genealogy Project and Oral History Projects to name just a few. The Swords Voices series now in its 19th years will be published.  The Society plans to have a’Bumper’edition to celebrate 30 years, so if you have a tale to tell, a photo to loan or donate, they would be delighted t hear from you.  Why not records your memories of ‘old Swords’ for posterity?  

During our recent annual SWORDS HERITAGE WEEK the 18th in our Swords Voices series  was published.   This is the outcome of an on-going oral history project which has created an archive of stories of the greater Swords area told by those from their own memories.

SWORDS VOICES are available at €5.00 each
Some back numbers are also available.
Others publications available are:
‘A Hard Auld Station’ Musings on St.Colmcille’s Church, Swords.
It contains history on many local families who donated plaques & windows to the Church since 1880…

The Awards in our Literary Contests took place during Heritage Week on September last.  Results were as follow:

POETRY    lst  Patricia Byrne, Swords, ‘A Lock Out’
                    2nd  Tony Devlin, Blanchardstown .   ‘Broken’
                    3rd   Patrick Condon, Swords. ‘The Fisherman’

SHORT STORY:  1st Martin Whelan, Malahide.  ‘Stern Reality’
                               2nd  E. Hughes, Swords ‘Dogged’
                               3rd Daniel J.Boland, Rush.  ‘Farewell Drink‘

                               A category sponsored for a work on the town of Swords

                               1st  Liam Heron, Swords.  ‘Reminiscences’

                               2nd  Liam Clare, Lusk.  ‘The First Match’

Sinn Fein Wreath Laying, April 2017 at Coleman Grave, Swords Graveyard.
EASTER 2017: Louise O'Reilly, TD.,Cllr. Philip Lynam,
Sinn Fein, wreath laying at Peter Wilson Plaque, Swords.
Sinn Fein Wreath Laying, April 2017 at Coleman Grave, Swords Graveyard.
Crowd at Launch of Fingal Heritage Network Exhibition
19th April 2017.
Geraldine McGovern, Myles Reilly, Berni Marks
at launch of Creative Ireland Fingal 24th April 2017
The Ghost of Swords Castle

  EASTER RISING COMMEMORATIONS:  Tom Seaver & Bernadette Marks at State Reception, Dublin Castle Easter Sunday 2016

 BERNADETTE MARKS  & MARY NUGENT  at Dublin Castle, Easter Sunday 2016.

 Enjoying the Walk about Swords - 'Architectural Gem' in background (North Street).

  Pupils of Fingal Community College, Swords visiting our Museum Oct. 2015

 Visiting today were Margaret Bermingham Moran from Australia. Margaret left Swords some years ago to settle in Australia was accompanied by her daughter Mary who flew in from Chicago. Margaret was reminded of old times by our collection of photographs. Brother Leo and Elaine also came along.

 Launch of 'Swords Castle-My Castle' Community Archaeological Dig, Sept,2015,

Berni, Sylvia & Aly with Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. David O'Connor

The latest edition of Swords Voices is now available.


We have a number of books for sale 


 A WALK AROUND HISTORIC SWORDS…Pupils of St.Finian’s College. Swords with their teacher Anne Chadwick, recently visited St. Colmcille’s Well, St.Columba’s Towers, and Swords Castle, where they were given a short talk by Swords Historical Society member B. Marks.   They were most interested in learning about St. Finian as their college is named after the local Saint. 


St. Catherine's Holy Well on the farm of Mr. John Ward of Fieldstown.
The area was the original homestead of the Norman family of De la Field. 
The Well was venerated from the year 1321 until the late 19th century. 

Fingal old IRA
Mary Nugent and Bernadette Marks 
  Pupils of Fingal Community College, Swords visiting our Museum Oct. 2015
Working on video on The Swords of today were Jim Bennett, Jim Hawkins,Berni Marks, and Mayor of Fingal, Darragh Butler.
Horse Ploughing From long ago

Copyright (C) 2011 Swords Historical Society Ltd

Fingal Heritage Network Launch of Exhibition: Bernie Kelly (Balbriggan), Myles Reilly (Cloghran),
Una O'Brien (Rolestown), Cllr. Grainne Maguire (Balbriggan),  Berni Marks & Mary Nugent (Swords),
with Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Darragh Butler.
Cruinniu na Casca, Swords Castle; Easter Monday 2017:
Mary Barrett & Mary Nugent at the Swords Voices Stand.
Mayor Darragh Butler,  with Margaret Geraghty, B. Marks and CEO Fingal Co. Council, Paul Reid

Mayor Darragh Butler and Bernie Marks 

Launch of Cruinniu na Caisce Fingal, Swords Castle, Easter 2017

Fingal Heritage Network Exhibition; launch at County
Hall, Swords 19th April....Berni Marks, Geraldine McGovern,
Cllr. David O'Connor.
Restored Chapel in Swords Castle
Easter Market Swords Castle, Berni Marks, Paul Reid, CEO
Fingal Co Council.
Very Happy People
Geraldine McGovern and Mary Nugent
Easter 2016:  B. Marks showing her father's1916 memorabiloia to
her cousin Elaine Fitzsimon; preparing for exhibition.
Launch of 'Fingal's Finest' Fingal Co.Council's film
about The Battle of Ashbourne - December 2016 at
Driocht, Blanchardstown.

Ramble through Swords in 1985, With Bernadette Marks 
Video from 2001 
National Heritage Week 2015:  Walk about St. Colmcille's Graveyard, Swords,
visiting the graves of some interesting 'characters' and 'heroes'
Swords 1916 Connection
Walk about historic Swords; Swords Historical Society introducing Swords Tidy
Towns members to some 'hidden history'.
Visiting St. Columba's Graveyard, Swords,
Swords and its People in photos old and new
Swords Castle
Launch of the 23rd Swords Voices lst Sept 2016.   Mayor of Fingal,Cllr. Darragh Butler, Mary Nugent,
 Bernadette Marks, James Bennett, Brendan Ryan T.D. at Carnegie Court Hotel.
 Photo,  Swords Local Oct. 2016.  

Mary McDonagh,Berni Marks, Geraldine McGovern

At unveiling of plaque from old Cloghran School May 2017.

Walk about St Colmcille's Graveyard 28th Aug. 2016.
Swords Summer Fest;
Tidy Towns Project:  Mick Kelly, Niamh, Paul Reid, FCC, CEO,  B. Marks.Launch of Polly Tunnels.

Geraldine McGovern and Mick Kelly
Summer Fest at St Colmcilles Well: Cllr Joe Newman, Berni Marks.
Our Stand at Swords Summer Festival July 2016
 Viewing old photos at our stand; Swords Summer Fest 2016
Walk about St Colmcille's Graveyard 28th Aug. 2016.
Geraldine & Bernadette at memory Makers at Plaza Hotel.
Part of Fingal Co. Council's 1916 exhibition. Pic is of Bernie's father

Mayor of Fingal, Darragh Butler with Berni & Mary
Flavours of Fingal 25-6-2016
Bernadette and Mary, At the Flavours of Fingal at Newbridge House on Saturday; everyone seemed to be enjoying the day.
Berni Marks, Mary Nugent, Mary Lowndes at Fingal Heritage |Network Culture Night in Skerries 10th June 2016.
Swords Castle; demolition of houses at Castle walls; a view never seen for a long time

  Bernadette Marks presenting Swords Voices to Eamon O'Keeffe,TD

her father was in jail with his grandfather Eamon De Valera 1916.
1916 Commemoration Night -Fianna Fail in Swords - Cllr Darragh Butler, Eamon O Caoimh, TD., B. Marks, Michael Kennedy
Sinn Fein Wreath Laying Ceremony at St. Colmcille's
Graveyard, Swords, March 2016.Over 25 veterans of
1916 Rising buried there
Mary Nugent, Mary Lowndes, Geraldine McGovern at Memory Maker 2016.

Tower Singers, Portrane at Memory Makers.

 Photos at Memory Makers  Mary Nugent, B. Marks,  Mary Lowndes.

 Bernadette Marks admiring the 1916 exhibition which

 included her father's photo.

 B. Marks, Joe Condron & Sean Ryan enjoying the many

events organized by Fingal County Council

  Sisters Nora Agnew Rogers and Kathleen Agnew Markey at Wreath laying ceremony St. Colmcilles.

Maureen O'Scannaill, Berni Marks at unveiling of 1916 memorial at Fingallians GAA,Swords
Three daughters of 1916 veterans; K.Agnew Markey, B. Marks, & Caith Cheallaigh with Mary Watson.
Bernadette Marks and Cllr Darragh Butler
Fingal Heritage Network Members with Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Darragh Butler at 'Fingal in10 Items'
24th Aug. 2016.  (Heritage Week)   At St. Sylvester's Parish Centre, Malahide
Horse Drawn Bread Van in 1916 Parade in Swords, a reminder of an incident in 'The Rising' when Volunteers commandeered a bread van on Swords Main Street and took all the bread with them to Donabate.
Fingal County Council's 1916 Exhibition - B. Marks looking at her father's memorabilia in the exhibition

 State Reception, Dublin Castle Easter Sunday 2016.

Caith Ni Cheallaigh, Berni Marks, John Kelly

 Arran from Fingal Community College, Swords helping Emmet Wilson  trace his ancestors in old school roll books at our centre; Emmet has done extensive family research with the help of

 David and Arran from Fingal Community College helping to catalogue items of a genealogical nature in Swords Museum

 Presentation of Life & Lore 1916 Oral History to National  Library;

Liam Heron, David Agnew, Berni Marks.

 Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams dropped into Swords Museum while on a ramble through Swords to view their 1916 exhibition.     Also in pic Caith Ni Cheallaigh, Loiuise O'Reilly (Sinn Fein) and Berni Marks.


 Brendan & Jane Wilson from Bermingham visiting Swords Museum with his cousin Liam Heron from Swords.   Brendan's family were originally from Drynan.

 Sword Historical Society visiting Swords I.C.A, keeping them up to date with the history of the area.


Robert Tomlinson from Yorkshire traced in Gannon roots to Swords where he met a third cousin, Mary Nugent for the first time.  Mary's mother is a Gannon while Robert's grandfather was James Gannon.  Seen here last June visiting grave at St. Colmcille's Swords. 

 Swords Heritage Week 2015:   Launch at Fingal County Hall of Swords Heritage Trail;Neil Jackman,Abarta Guides, Paul Reid, CEO Fingal Council, Berni Marks, Swords Historical Soc., Gerry Clabby, Heritage Office, Minister James Reilly, Mayor of Fingal David O'Connor.


Walk around St. Colmcille's Graveyard, Aug. 30th. Pic at Monument to A.J.Kettle, known as Parnell's Right hand man' and father of Tom Kettle

 Mary & Liam visiting St Colmcille's Well where Swords was founded in 560 AD.

 Swords Castle Archaeological Dig 2015; Liam, Berni & Sylvia admiring the photographic exhibition in the Chapel of the Castle.


Launch of 22nd in the Swords Voices series.  Paddy Gerrard one of the contributors singing a song.  The Star, Swords.

 Group at walk about St. Colmcille's Graveyard Aug 31st.

An excellent turn-out for the walk about St. Colmcille's Graveyard, Swords on Aug. 31st last. They listened to the many stories from the headstones, and were fascinated by the huge tree that has grown over a headstone. 

 Marie Dullaghan who won the 'What Swords Means to Me' Contest  at this year's Swords Heritage Week. 

The contest is sponsored by Mrs Mary McCormack of Tara Winthrop Clinic in memory of her late bother Mrs Bridget Browne.   Marie holds the Bridget Browne Trophy for one year. 


Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. Ted Leddy
at the launch of the 21st in the Swords Voices
series. With Liam Heron at The Star during
Swords Heritage  Week.

 Michael Burke, Lusk, 2nd Prize Winner in 

Poet of Fingal Competition, 2014..

 Swords Heritage Week 2014:  Paddy Ryan, Malahide came first in Short Story Competition: Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mags Murray presents him with The Tom O'Shea Trophy.


Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mags Murray speaking at Swords Heritage Week 2014 Literary Awards

Gearldine and Bernadette  on a trip to Lambay Island 

Tour of St Columba's Graveyard, With Bernadette Marks, Swords Historical Society.

 On the high Seas, Bernie And Phil  on their way to Lambay Island.

 Hazel Cassidy

 Fiona Irwin

Tony Devlin

The Lock Out  1913, With Declan Brady, Bernadette Marks,Brian Simpson

 The late Tommy Murray from ~Trim, who won the Poet of Fingal

Competition 2010 & 2011.

 PADDY SAVAGE, Chicago – winner of the Swords category in Literary Competitions .Swords Heritage Week,  He holds the Bridget Browne Trophy for a year, sponsored by Mrs Mary McCormack, Tara Winthorp Clinic, in honour of her late mother.

 Des Becton, Swords Tidy Towns, Bernadette Marks, Paddy Savage in Swords Museum.

Geraldine McGovern. Runner-up Swords Section, Geraldine O’Dowd
& Maureen Cullen who were short listed in Short Story Contest.

 HISTORICAL WALK with Swords Tidy Towns:
Bernadette Marks, Monica Fitzsimon, Alexandra Dermody
at the grave of United Irishman, John Sweetman.

Trip to Lambay Island 2014 

EURO DISNEY1991:   Swords Town Twinning with Ozoir le Ferriere,

P. Archbold, J. Hunt, RIP., B. Marks, E. Monaghan, T. Beades. 

 SWORDS CELTIC 50th Anniversary 2012: B. Marks, Mayor of Fingal,  Cllr. Gerry Maguire,G. McGovern.

Mr Trapotoni, G. McGovern, B. Marks. 

 LITERARY AWARDS 2011; Liam Heron Bridget Browne Trophy for 

Story on Swords; Patricia Byrne, Poet of Fingall, (McDonagh Trophy), 
Martin Whelan, Short Story Contest (Tom O'Shea Plaque)
with Brendan Ryan, T.D.


Boys from St. Finian's College visiting St. Colmcille's Well.


100th  Anniversary Dublin/Drogheda Railway 1990s. Raheny Historical Society.

  Swords Celtic with Mr. Trapotoni.

 Boys from St. Colmcille's Boys' School 1969/70.

 Photographs Copyright Swords Museum (C) 2016

Copyright Swords Museum (C)  2016