Swords, Dublin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sord / Sord Cholmcille
Suburban town
Clockwise from top: Main Street, Swords; Ward River Valley Park; interior of Swords Pavilions
Clockwise from top: Main Street, Swords; Ward River Valley Park; interior of Swords Pavilions
Swords is located in Dublin
Location in Dublin area
Coordinates: 53°27′35″N 6°13′05″W / 53.4597°N 6.2181°W / 53.4597; -6.2181Coordinates: 53°27′35″N 6°13′05″W / 53.4597°N 6.2181°W / 53.4597; -6.2181
RegionEastern and Midland
EP constituencyDublin
Dáil constituencyDublin Fingal
Local electoral areas
  • Swords
  • Howth—Malahide
County Town1994
Founded bySt Colmcille
Named for(possibly) St Colmcille's Well
County HallMain Street, Swords
Electoral divisions[1]
  • Swords-Lissenhall
  • Swords-Glasmore
  • Swords-Forrest
  • Swords Village
  • Swords-Seatown
  • Swords-Manor
  • Holy well
  • Applewood
  • Brackenstown
  • Cloghran
  • Airport
 • TypeLocal authority (whole county, not just Swords)
 • BodyFingal County Council
 • Urban11.35 km2 (4.38 sq mi)
 • Metro15.99 km2 (6.17 sq mi)
 Source: CSO Sapmap Viewer
Highest elevation60 m (200 ft)
Lowest elevation0 m (0 ft)
 • Urban42,738
 • Urban density3,765/km2 (9,750/sq mi)
 • Swords CT
 • Swords CT density3,615/km2 (9,360/sq mi)
 • Kinsealy-Drinan CT
 • Kinsealy-Drinan CT density5,101/km2 (13,210/sq mi)
 Source: Census 2011
Ethnic or cultural background
 • White Irish30,946
 • White Other7,089
 • Asian or Asian Irish1,169
 • Black or Black Irish1,142
 • White Irish Traveller96
Time zoneUTC0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (WEST)
Postal Hub
Postal Sorting Office
Dialing Code+353(0)1
ISO 3166 codeIE-D
Vehicle registrationD
WebsiteSwords on fingal.ie

Swords (Irish: Sord[N 1] [sˠoːɾˠd̪ˠ] or Sord Cholmcille), the county town of Fingal, is a large suburban town on the east coast of Ireland, situated ten kilometres[10] north of Dublin city centre. The town was reputedly founded c. AD 560. Located on the Ward River, Swords features Swords Castle, a restored medieval castle, a holy well from which it takes its name, a round tower and a Norman tower. Facilities in the area include the Pavilions shopping centre, one of the largest in the Dublin region, a range of civic offices, some light industries, the main storage facility and archive of the National Museum of Ireland and several parks. Dublin Airport is located nearby.

The name "Swords" is also given to a townland,[N 2] a civil parish within the old County Dublin, and to the local electoral area.


Map of Swords

Origins and etymology[edit]

The town's origins date back to 560 AD when it was reputedly founded by Saint Colmcille (521–567).[11] Legend has it that the saint blessed a local well, giving the settlement its name, Sord, meaning "clear" or "pure". However, An Sord also means "the water source" and could indicate a large communal drinking well that existed in antiquity.[12] St. Colmcille's Well is located on Well Road off Main Street. Sord may also refer to a "sward", an 'expanse of grass'.[13] The most common landscape indicators of early Christian settlement are the ecclesiastical enclosures, and in the case of Swords, the street pattern has been influenced by the circular alignment of the settlement.


The medieval town developed in a linear pattern along Main Street, in a roughly north–south direction. The round tower, 26m in height, is also an indicator of early Christian settlement. The Irish high king Brian Boru is said to have had his funeral at the church on Spittal Hill after he was killed at the Battle of Clontarf; this was of course before the hospital and even the Church of Ireland when there would have been a small chapel there along with the round tower.

At the northern end of the street stands Swords Castle, 200m northeast of the ecclesiastical site, which was built in the early 13th century. A short distance north of the castle is the elevation known as Spittal Hill, where a hospital once stood.[14]

In 1994, Swords became the county seat of the new county of Fingal after the abolition of the former County Dublin as an administrative county. In 2001, upon the completion of the County Hall, senior executive offices moved there from Parnell Square in Dublin city centre.

In June 2006, the RNLI Ireland officially opened a new all-Ireland headquarters at Airside Business Park, within greater Swords.[citation needed] The National Museum of Ireland operates its Collections Resource Centre (CRC) at a former Motorola factory site on the northern edge of the town. The size of two football fields, the CRC includes storage, archive, library and research facilities serving all branches of the museum.[15]

Strategic vision[edit]

Fingal County Council's "Strategic Vision" for Swords is reputedly to create a sustainable "new city". The council has referred to Swords as an "emerging city" and has projected that the population of Swords would rise towards 100,000 by the year 2035.[16] The town is the seventh-largest urban area in the country, and the third-largest in County Dublin, after Dublin City and Tallaght.

The Swords Cultural Quarter Masterplan, by Fingal County Council, proposed to redevelop the centre of Swords surrounding the castle.[17]

Quality of life[edit]

A middle class housing estate on the southern side of Swords

In 2012, Swords was named the third best town in Ireland to live in. The survey conducted by Retail Excellence Ireland took into account safety, retail, dining, entertainment, events, car parking and overall attractiveness of the town.[18] Swords has seen steady regeneration of shop fronts,[19] public buildings, and footpaths and the restoration of Swords Castle since the mid-1990s. Households in Swords have the seventh-highest median incomes in the state, among distinct towns (a comparison excluding most other suburbs of the city).[20]

A 2011 Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey declared Swords to be the second cleanest town in Ireland.[21] This came just eight years after an IBAL survey had scored the town as the worst "litter blackspot" in the country.[22] In the 2019 survey, An Taisce, who carry out the surveys on behalf of IBAL, stated: "A stellar showing for this large urban area. Swords is a model for others to follow."[23]



Swords Main Street lined with London Plane trees, October 2021

Swords is situated roughly in the centre of the modern county of Fingal and the ancient barony of Nethercross.The Ward River, coming from County Meath, runs west to east to near the centre of the town, and then turns to run north, before flowing into the Broad Meadow Water or Broadmeadow River to the east of the town, across the former northern road. A small stream joins the Ward near the town centre and the holy well. The Broadmeadow, also flowing from Meath, borders the north of the town. It runs from Dunshaughlin in the west and across the north of Swords, before receiving the Ward and flowing into the wide Broadmeadow Estuary, then into the Irish Sea past Malahide. The estuary is crossed by a railway embankment and bridge from Malahide.[24] Swords is surrounded by a protected green belt. Dublin Airport has prevented the town from expanding further south and the large Broadmeadow Estuary and Malahide beyond limit expansion further east. To the north and west of Swords, there is sparsely-populated, relatively flat, farmland.

Townlands and baronies[edit]

The civil parish of Swords mainly lies in the ancient barony of Nethercross.[N 3] Swords Demesne is the name of the townland in the heart of the urban town of Swords.[N 4] It is one of 58 such geographic units in the civil parish. However, a single parcel of land, 5 acres in extent, is situated in the barony of Coolock[N 5] as an exclave of the civil parish proper.

There are 10 townlands in the electoral division of Swords, which is not coterminous with the civil parish.

Urban layout[edit]

A Credit Union on North Street
St. Columcille's Court, Swords

The main retail area is located in the centre of the town and includes the town's wide, tree-lined Main Street, and the Pavilions and Swords Central combined shopping centres. There are also two smaller retail developments, Swords Plaza and Swords Town Mall. Most civic facilities are also in this central area, with some subsidiary shopping and civic centres in surrounding housing areas.

The west of the urban area is mainly residential, with the neighbourhoods of Applewood, Rathbeale and Brackenstown to the north of the Ward River and Knocksedan, River Valley, Rathingle, Highfields, and Boroimhe to the south side of the river.

The main business and industrial areas are located to the east of the town centre, along the R132 dual carriageway. These include Balheary Industrial Park, Swords Business Campus, Swords Business Park, and the Airside campus (Business Park, Retail Park and Motor Park). The neighbourhoods of Seatown, Lissenhall, Holywell and Drynam are also to the east of the town core.[citation needed]

Postal designation[edit]

Swords has a postal address of County Dublin, and an eircode "routing key" of K67.[citation needed]


The climate of Swords is, like the rest of Ireland, classified as a maritime temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. It is mild and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. The hottest months of the year are June, July and August with temperatures of around 17 – 20 degrees. Swords gets rainfall all year round and the wettest months are October to January.

Climate data for Swords (Dublin Airport) (1981–2010 averages)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 16.5
Average high °C (°F) 8.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.3
Average low °C (°F) 2.4
Record low °C (°F) −9.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 62.6
Average rainy days 17 15 17 15 15 14 16 16 15 17 17 17 191
Average snowy days 4.6 4.2 2.8 1.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8 2.9 16.6
Average relative humidity (%) 80.6 75.7 71.0 68.3 68.0 68.3 69.0 69.3 71.5 75.1 80.3 83.1 73.3
Mean daily sunshine hours 1.9 2.7 3.5 5.3 6.2 5.8 5.3 5.1 4.3 3.3 2.4 1.7 3.9
Source: Met Éireann[25]


Swords has developed into one of the largest urban areas in Ireland. The town's population boom began in the 1970s with the construction of the sprawling Rivervalley Estate, then Ireland's largest private housing development, ahead of Kilnamanagh Estate in Tallaght North. It continued during the 1990s and 2000s, with many new residents moving to the area due to its proximity to work at Dublin Airport and various industrial estates.

At the 2011 census, the total urban population of greater Swords was 42,738. This wider area of Swords had a population density in 2011 of 3765/km2, making it the most densely populated urban area in Ireland.[26]

Fingal County Council has referred to Swords as an "Emerging City", and have suggested that the overall area's population may reach 100,000 by 2035.



Fáilte Sord 2018 sculpture

Swords has good road links due to its proximity to Dublin city, which is the main focus for the Irish road network. The M1 Dublin-Belfast motorway passes along the eastern edge of the town and is the main route to/from Dublin City, Drogheda, Dundalk, Newry and Belfast. The M50 Dublin semi-orbital motorway passes to the south of the town and provides connections with all of the other main roads out of Dublin (N2, N3, N4, N7, N81 and M11). The R132 dual-carriageway bypasses the centre of Swords, and runs south to Dublin Airport and north to Balbriggan. The proposed Swords Western Ring Road dual carriageway is due to run from the M1 at Lissenhall, north of Swords, along the western edge of Swords to the M2 motorway at Cherryhound. Other main roads from Swords include the R106 to Malahide and Portmarnock, R108 to Ballyboughal and Naul, R125 to Ashbourne and the M2 motorway, R126 to Donabate and Portrane and R127 to Lusk and Skerries.


The town's Main Street is served by Dublin Bus (and Go-Ahead Ireland) routes 33, 33A, 33B, 33N, 41, 41B, 41C, 41X, 43, 102 and 142 as well as Bus Éireann routes 101 and 101n, and Swords Express routes 500, 500x, 501, 501x and 502. Buses operate between Swords and Dublin city centre approximately every 5 minutes throughout the day, through a combination of Dublin Bus routes 33, 41, 41B, 41C, 41X & 43,[27] with a journey time of about an hour. Swords Express[28] operate express services through the Dublin Port Tunnel which take about 35 minutes. Other bus routes serving Swords include the 102 to Malahide, Portmarnock and Sutton, route 33b to Donabate and Portrane, routes 33 and 33a to Lusk, Rush, Skerries, and Balbriggan and Bus Éireann route 101 to Balbriggan, Julianstown and Drogheda. Connect Bus and Coach operate route H1 every 20 minutes between Dublin Airport and the Travelodge Hotel in Swords.

There are a number of long-distance bus services from the Atrium Road and coach park in Dublin Airport[29] to various locations throughout the country operated by Bus Éireann[30] and other private companies, including 50 daily services to Belfast (route 1/X2 & Aircoach[31]), 12 to Derry (route 33 & John Mc Ginley[32]), 11 to Letterkenny (route 32 & John Mc Ginley), 9 to Donegal (route 30), 3 to Sligo (route 23), 1 to Ballina (route 22), 52 to Galway (route 20, Citylink[33] & gobus[34]), 14 to Limerick (route 12 & JJ Kavanagh[35]), 24 to Cork (GoBé & Aircoach), 6 to Clonmel (JJ Kavanagh), 21 to Waterford (route 4/X4 & JJ Kavanagh) and 31 to Wexford (route 2, Ardcavan[36] & Wexford Bus[37]).


Swords has no railway services. The nearest railway stations are at Malahide and Donabate. Malahide is served by the frequent Dublin area rapid transit service to Bray, through the city centre. Both Malahide and Donabate are served by Dublin – Drogheda commuter services.

Swords is the only Dublin county town not to be served by rail, as Tallaght in South Dublin is served by the Luas light rail system, and Dún Laoghaire is served by the DART and Irish Rail services.


The Plaza, Swords

There are proposals for a light rapid transit line, MetroLink, to run from St Stephen's Green to Swords via the Mater Hospital, Drumcondra Railway Station, Dublin City University, Ballymun and Dublin Airport. In 2015, the Government announced that Metro North would be redesigned to a cheaper cost. Construction of the line was proposed to begin in 2021 and be completed by 2026.

Three stops have been proposed within or near Swords (at Estuary, Swords Central, Fosterstown) with another at the airport (between Terminals 1 and 2). A further three stops were originally proposed but were refused planning permission.[citation needed]

Dublin Airport[edit]

Dublin Airport, the busiest airport in Ireland, is located at Collinstown, several kilometres to the south of Swords. The airport has direct flights to Britain, Europe, North America, North Africa and the Middle East. In 2019, 32.9 million passenger journeys were recorded,[38] and it is by far the busiest of the airports by total passenger traffic in Ireland. As of 2014, Dublin–London was the world's second-busiest international air route, behind Hong Kong–Taipei.[39]

Knocksedan Heliport[edit]

Knocksedan Heliport is a private heliport on the western side of Swords, run by Celtic Helicopters. The heliport has four hangars and they provide a helicopter wash facility and Jet A1 Fuel.[40] Irish Helicopters also use the heliport. They provide aerial crane, filming and survey services, helicopter charter and maintenance, spraying and special project services.[41]

Features and historical attractions[edit]

Some historical attractions are listed below. Many of these are promoted by Swords Historical Society.[42]

Swords Castle as seen from Swords Town Park

Swords Castle[edit]

Swords Castle was built as the manorial residence of the 1st Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn, around 1200 or a little later in Swords, just north of Dublin. It was never strong in the military sense, but covers a large pentagonal walled area of nearly 1.5 acres (6,000 m2) with a tower on the north and a gateway complex on the south. The adjoining chapel, built in the late thirteenth century, was probably used as the Archbishop's private oratory.[citation needed]

Other buildings, recorded in an inquisition in 1326, have now vanished, including the great hall on the east side of the enclosure. The Archbishop abandoned Swords once a new palace was built at Tallaght in 1324. The stepped battlements suggest some form of occupancy during the fifteenth century, but by 1583, when briefly occupied by Dutch Protestants, it was described as "the quite spoiled old castle". It was used as a garden in the nineteenth century and sold after the Church of Ireland was disestablished.

Swords Castle has undergone restoration and is open as a tourist attraction. The castle was used as a film location for the production of TV series The Tudors in spring 2010.[43]

St. Colmcille's Well[edit]

St Colmcilles Well
St Colmcilles Well

On Well Road, and also known as St. Columb's Well. In a locked chamber. Reputed to be where Swords got its name when St. Colmcille blessed the well of clear water, 'Sord' being the Irish for 'clear or pure'.

St. Columba's Church, Belfry & Round Tower[edit]

St. Columba's Church and round tower

The round tower is the surviving remnant of St. Colmcille's monastic settlement. The only remaining relic of the medieval church is its belfry, from c. 1300, which is open to the public in the summertime. The original church is said to have fallen into ruin sometime in the seventeenth century. The new church of early Gothic style was built in 1811 on the foundations of the old.[44] The Sexton's Lodge was built in 1870. The body of Brian Boru was said to have been brought there in 1014 to be waked after the Battle of Clontarf, while on the way to be buried in Armagh.[45]

Old Borough School[edit]

Located on Main Street, the building was designed by the architect Francis Johnston. In 2015, Wetherspoon bought the premises, and now operate The Old Borough as a public house.

St. Colmcille’s RC Church[edit]

On Chapel Lane, a pre-Catholic Emancipation church built in 1827 on a site donated by James Taylor of Swords House. The graveyard contains the headstones of nationalist politician Andrew Kettle, who was known as "Parnell’s Righthand Man."


Swords Courthouse

Designed by Alexander Tate, Swords Courthouse is located on North Street and was built in 1845 in Classical style.

Lord Mayors[edit]

Founded in 1668, the 350 year old Lord mayors is a Swords landmark. The thatched roof pub is the oldest structure in the village.[46]

The Lord mayors closed for business in April 2019[47] leaving the premises vacant, with some locals questioning the plan to build 172 apartments on the site of the historic structure.[48]

Fingal County Hall[edit]

Fingal County Hall

The modern Fingal County Hall, by Bucholz McEvoy Architects, is located at the northern end of Main Street. It is built on the site of Swords House, the home of the Norman family, the Taylors of Swords. Records show the family arrived there in the 13th century and built a 'Mansion House' in 1403.[citation needed]

Leisure and cultural facilities[edit]

Swords library[edit]

Swords library, located on Rathbeale Road, offers typical library services and runs cultural activities for children and adults.[citation needed]

Historical society[edit]

Swords Historical Society, founded in 1982, is supported by volunteers who have worked to record, promote and preserve the heritage of the greater Swords area. The society's Museum and Heritage Centre at the Carnegie Library on North Street is run by volunteers and is open on weekday afternoons. The society's oral history project has produced an annual 'Swords Voices' publication, which chronicles the memories of local people.[42]

Ward River Valley Park[edit]

The Ward River Valley Park is a linear park on the banks of the Ward River approaching town. It covers an area of 89 ha. (220 acres) between Swords town centre and Knocksedan Bridge. Features include some 12th-century fortifications, woodland habitats, wetlands and rolling grassland. There are viewing points, picnic sites, sports pitches and tennis courts.[49] The park is known locally as "The Jacko", which is a nickname that is thought to have originated in the 1960s.[50]

Swords Town Park (with Swords Castle)[edit]

Swords Town Park, with Ward River on left

Swords Town Park is a small park situated in the centre of the town of Swords, along the Ward River.[51] It has tennis courts and a playground. Swords Castle lies within the park. It is the former residence of the Archbishop of Dublin and it is the only fortified residence of the Archbishop to survive in a reasonable state today (see above).

Balheary Park[edit]

Balheary Park is north of the town centre near the confluence of the Broadmeadow River and the Ward River, which flow to the northern and southern edges of the park. It meets Swords Business Campus / Balheary Business Park on three sides and has some playing pitches which are used by the Fingallians GAA club. In mid-2006, Fingal County Council built a skatepark and adjoining basketball courts/football court in Balheary Park. The park contains a bowl, a vert wall, a spine, some quarterpipes, and a section of boxes in the middle of the park.

Broadmeadow River Linear Park[edit]

The Broadmeadow Linear Park is a small park north of Applewood along the Broadmeadow River. Fingal County Council plan to extend the park eastwards to Balheary Park and westwards into the proposed Swords Regional Park.[52]

National Show Centre[edit]

A little south of Swords, near Dublin Airport, the National Show Centre is an exhibition and conference venue owned by the Irish Kennel Club.[53] The venue is used as a counting centre during elections for the Dublin Fingal constituency.



Swords Boxing Club is based at Sluagh Hall, a former military facility which is shared with Fingallians GAA clbu.[54] Fingal Boxing Academy, which is affiliated with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association and located in Rivervalley, Swords, was the first boxing club in Ireland to train female boxers and has trained several national champions.[citation needed]


There are three Gaelic Athletic Association clubs local to Swords, and one more with pitches. These include Fingallians (based at Lawless Memorial Park), St. Finian's (Rivervalley), and St Colmcille's (Holybanks, Glen Ellan Road in the Applewood neighbourhood).[citation needed]


There are several golf courses close to the town, namely Swords Open Golf Course, Forrest Little Golf Club, Roganstown Golf and Country Club and Balheary "Par 3" Golf Course. There are also several driving ranges in the area with the Drynam Golf Centre being the first driving range in Ireland with automated tees.[citation needed]


Swords RFC are a rugby union team playing in Division 3 of the Leinster League. The club is based out of ALSAA Sport Complex beside the airport and has 2 Men's teams and 1 Women's team.[citation needed]


Swords Celtic, established in 1962, fields DDSL, NDSL, LSL, and MGL schoolboy and schoolgirl teams.[citation needed] The main pitch and clubhouse are located at Balheary, Swords and includes dressing rooms an eleven-a-side and two seven-a-side pitches with floodlights.[citation needed]

Swords Manor FC, established in 1995, fields NDSL, DDSL, MGL, and UCFL schoolboy and schoolgirl teams.[citation needed] The main pitch and clubhouse are located on Brackenstown Road.[citation needed]

River Valley Rangers AFC was established in 1981. It fields NDSL schoolboy/girl teams and its pitch and clubhouse are located in Ridgewood Park.[citation needed]

Columbas Rovers FC was established in 2002. It uses the ALSAA sports centre near the airport.[citation needed]

A former club, Swords Rovers FC (founded in 1993), was disbanded in 2015.[55]

Other sports[edit]

Fingal Orienteers have created orienteering maps of the Ward River Valley park, and the surrounding estates of Swords Manor, Brackenstown, River Valley and Knocksedan, and regularly hold events in the area.[56]

Racquet sports clubs include Forest Badminton Club, River Valley Badminton Club, and Swords Tennis Club (based at Swords Town Park). Swords Hockey Club is a ladies club based in ALSAA Sports Grounds.[citation needed]


Fingal Horticultural Show[edit]

The Fingal Horticultural Society holds their annual flower show in Swords every August.[57] It includes competition classes in Cut Flowers, Hanging Baskets, Pot Plants, Flower Arranging, Fruit, Vegetables, Cookery, Wine Making, Photography, Painting and Handcrafts, as well as special classes for children. The Fingal Horticultural Society also hold an annual Garden Competition, Allotment Competition and Pub Frontage Competition in Swords.

Flavours of Fingal Agricultural Show[edit]

The first Flavours of Fingal Show took place in July 2012 in Newbridge House near Donabate. The farm section of the two-day show featured a program of livestock and sheep competitions, equestrian contests and other agricultural displays. Separately, the walled garden of Newbridge House hosted the food producers section of the show. During the festival, family and musical entertainment, walks and other events were held.[58]

Dog shows[edit]

In 2012 over 80 dog shows were held in the National Show Centre,[59] including the Celtic Winners Dog Show, held on St. Patrick's Day.[original research?]

Fingal 10k Road Race[edit]

The first Fingal 10k Road Race took place on 22 July 2012 on the roads around Swords. It was part of the Dublin Race Series, a series which culminates in the Dublin Marathon. Over 4200 people entered the first race, and the event has since been run annually.[60]


A concourse area in Pavilions Swords


Swords is the home to a large retail and business park called Airside Retail and Business Park, on the southern fringe of the town, hosting many employers, including the European Headquarters of Kellogg's. Ingersoll Rand also has its corporate headquarters in the Airside Business Park.[61] East of the town, running parallel to Swords bypass, lies the large Swords Business Park, where The Hertz Corporation have a Shared Services Centre.

Swords also has a large shopping centre, the Pavilions Swords, off the R132, which has a multi-screen cinema and branches of SuperValu and Dunnes Stores.


Empennages of an Aer Lingus and Ryanair planes at Dublin Airport, near Swords.

Swords is the closest town to Dublin Airport and the two share the same Eircode routing area key of K67. The airport has long provided employment to the area. In 2011, Dublin Airport handled over 18.7 million passengers and served over 171 routes with 62 airlines.[62] The airport serves as an operating base for Aer Lingus, Aer Lingus Regional, Air Contractors, CityJet, Ryanair and Thomson Airways, and as a maintenance base for Aer Lingus, CityJet, Dublin Aerospace,[63] Eirtech Aviation,[64] Etihad Airways[65] and Ryanair.

The Irish Aviation Authority[66] operate the Dublin Air Traffic Control Centre on the airport.

The headquarters of the Dublin Airport Authority and Ireland's four largest airlines are located in or near Swords. The Dublin Airport Authority, who manage Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports, employ over 3,000 people and have their headquarters on the airport campus.[67] Aer Lingus,[68] Ireland's flag carrier, have their headquarters on the Dublin Airport campus. CityJet, part of the Air France-KLM group, has its headquarters in Swords Business Campus[69] and Air Contractors, part of the ASL Aviation group, has its head office on the Malahide Road in Swords.[70] In 2014, Ryanair moved into a new €20m, 100,000 sq ft Dublin Head Office in Airside Business Park.[71] The building was officially opened in April 2014.


In 2007 Tesco Ireland opened their new €70 million distribution centre in Lanestown, between Swords and Donabate. With a building footprint of over 68,000 m2 and a total volume of 1.55 million m2 the Tesco Ireland distribution centre is the largest building on the island of Ireland and one of the 10 largest building in the world. The building is over half a kilometre long and could fit 16 jumbo jets. It has 106 loading bays and supplies 106 stores up to 6 times a day.[72]


Swords is the home to several international chemical producers and pharmaceutical giants, including Opec. Merck Sharp & Dohme (formally Organnon) employ over 500 people in their facility in Drynam, which manufactures women's health, anaesthesiology and mental health products.[73] Bristol Myers Squibb employ over 400 people in their Swords Laboratories bulk pharmaceutical plant on Watery Lane.[74] The Lonza Group employ 45 people in their European manufacturing facility for personal care and industrial biocides, also on Watery Lane.[75]

Food and horticulture[edit]

Swords is located in the centre of Fingal and is surrounded by farms growing crops like potatoes, wheat and barley. However, unlike the rest of Fingal, a lot of the food distributed from Swords has been imported from abroad.[citation needed] As of 2018, FoodCentral (marketed as "Ireland's national food park") was being developed south-west of Swords.[76][77]

The Keeling's Group, who employ over 1700 people, have their headquarters in FoodCentral and use a lot of land around Swords.[78] The Keeling's Farms division annually grow 2,500 tonnes of soft fruits/berries from 5 hectares of glasshouse, tunnel and field crops in Swords. They grow Bramley apples in 139 acres of orchards and lettuce in 8 acres of glasshouses. Their glasshouses also produce 1,500 tonnes of red, orange, yellow and green peppers annually.[79] Keeling's also operate a large banana ripening facility for Chiquita which ripens over 3 million bananas each week. They also have separate ripening rooms for other fruits.[80][81]

Total Produce, Ireland's largest agribusiness[82] operates two facilities in Swords.[83] Its facility in Swords Business Park includes a distribution and ripening centre for Fyffes[84] Cape, Outspan, Green Ace and TOP Fruit products. Their "Uniplumo" facility on the Rathbeale Road,[85] has 46,000 square metres of glasshouses for growing plants, flowers and tomatoes.



The town is served by more than 10 primary schools. These include several gaelscoils,[86] a number of Educate Together schools,[87][88][89] and mixed and gender-specific national schools.[90][91] The latter includes both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic schools.[92][93][94][95][96] A number of other primary schools are in planning or under construction.[97][98]


The secondary schools serving the town include Loreto College (all-girls school, River Valley),[99] Coláiste Choilm C.B.S. (all-boys school, Dublin Road),[100] Fingal Community College (Seatown Road),[101] St. Finian's Community College (Castlefarm),[102] and Swords Community College (Rathbeale Road)[103]

Third level and further education[edit]

Land has been reserved for a potential university campus at Lissenhall in north Swords.[104][needs update]

The National Learning Network, Fingal Adult Education Service and Swords Youthreach each have a presence in the area.[105][106][107]

There is also the Fingal Adult Literacy and Education Centre[108]


Population by religion (Census 2011)[109] Persons
Roman Catholic 34,021
Orthodox (Greek, Coptic, Russian) 1,335
Church of Ireland, England, Anglican, Episcopalian 944
Apostolic or Pentecostal 201
Presbyterian 195
Other Christian religion 454
Total Christian religions 37,150
Muslim (Islamic) 579
Other stated religions 1,003
No religion 3,006
Not stated 1,000
Total Population 42,738


Christianity is the predominant religion in Swords and Roman Catholicism is the predominant denomination. The town has six Roman Catholic churches. St. Colmcille's, the Church of the Visitation and Our Lady Queen of Heaven are all within Swords parish.[110][111][112] St. Cronan's and St. Finian's each belong to distinct parishes, while the Church of the Immaculate Conception lies within Donabate parish.[113][114][115]

There are also a further eight Christian churches and a retreat centre.[116] These include St. Columba's Church of Ireland church on Church Road,[117] and Baptist churches which meet in St. Finian's Community College and at Seatown West.[118][119]

Other Protestant and evangelical communities include the Apostolic Faith Church and Churchtown Trust.[120][121] The Syriac Orthodox Church meets as the St. Ignatius Jacobite Congregation in St Columba's Church of Ireland church.[122] Jehovah's Witnesses meet at a Kingdom Hall on Kettles Lane.[123]


The Dublin Welfare Society manage a makeshift mosque in a Swords industrial estate[124]

Local politicians[edit]

Swords is part of the Dublin Fingal constituency. The five TDs that serve the area are as follows:

TDs from 2020 election
Dáil constituency Name Party
Dublin Fingal Alan Farrell Fine Gael
Joe O'Brien Green
Duncan Smith Labour
Louise O'Reilly Sinn Féin
Darragh O'Brien Fianna Fáil

Seven councillors serve the Swords local electoral area of Fingal County Council. They are:

Council members from 2019 election
Local electoral area Name Party
Swords Darragh Butler Fianna Fáil
Dean Mulligan Inds. 4 Change
James Humphreys Labour
Ian Carey Green
Brigid Manton Fianna Fáil
Joe Newman Independent
Ann Graves Sinn Féin

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]



From "Irish Placenames Database". logainm.ie (in English and Ga). Archived from the original on 22 April 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2016.:


  1. ^ County of Fingal Local Electoral Areas Order 2018 (S.I. No. 618 of 2018). 19 December 2018. Statutory Instrument of the Government of Ireland. Irish Statute Book.
  2. ^ "Fingal County Council". Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  3. ^ Swords Total Area – Swords Local Electoral Area Archived 12 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Central Statistics Office
  4. ^ Swords Urban Area – Swords and Kinsealy-Drinan Census Towns Archived 12 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Central Statistics Office
  5. ^ Swords Metro Area – Swords Development Boundary[permanent dead link] Fingal County Council
  6. ^ Swords Max Elevation Archived 29 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Ordnance Survey Ireland
  7. ^ Swords Min Elevation Archived 29 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Ordnance Survey Ireland
  8. ^ Swords Urban Population – Swords and Kinsealy Drinan Census Towns Archived 13 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Census 2011
  9. ^ Swords Ethnic or Cultural Background Census 2011
  10. ^ Note: The centre of Swords is 12.3 km north of the GPO in Dublin, but the district's southernmost point is indeed c. 10 km north of the GPO.
  11. ^ Sidwell, Keith (1995), Reading Medieval Latin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 70, ISBN 0-521-44747-X
  12. ^ "History Of Swords Dublin". swordsdublin.net.
  13. ^ Hickey, Raymond, 2005: Dublin English: evolution and change
  14. ^ Barrysparks Local Area Plan – Environmental Report Archived 31 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine Fingal County Council
  15. ^ "National Museum of Ireland - Collections Resource Centre". Irish Museums Association. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  16. ^ Your Swords, an Emerging City, Strategic Vision 2035 Archived 31 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine Fingal County Council
  17. ^ "Swords Cultural Quarter Masterplan". fingal.ie.
  18. ^ "Retail Excellence Ireland Survey 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 October 2012.
  19. ^ County Council, Fingal (2015). "SWORDS CASTLE CULTURAL QUARTER" (PDF). Fingal.ie. Retrieved 1 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Gleeson, Colin. "Households in Malahide enjoy highest incomes in State". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  21. ^ "Irish Business Against Litter Survey 2011" (PDF).
  22. ^ "Irish Business Against Litter Survey 2003" (PDF).
  23. ^ "Irish Business Against Litter Survey 2019".
  24. ^ Doyle, Joseph W. (1 December 2013). Ten Dozen Waters: The Rivers and Streams of County Dublin (8th ed.). Dublin, Ireland: Rath Eanna Research. pp. 8–10. ISBN 978-0-9566363-8-6.
  25. ^ "Dublin 1981–2010 averages". www.met.ie.
  26. ^ Census 2011 Population Density
  27. ^ Dublin Bus timetables
  28. ^ Swords Express timetables
  29. ^ "Coach and Airport Bus Services To and From Dublin Airport". www.dublinairport.com.
  30. ^ "Bus Éireann - View Ireland Bus and Coach Timetables & Buy Tickets". www.buseireann.ie. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012.
  31. ^ "Aircoach timetables". Archived from the original on 5 July 2012.
  32. ^ "John McGinley Coaches". www.johnmcginley.com.
  33. ^ "Citylink timetables". Archived from the original on 8 July 2012.
  34. ^ "Direct Galway to Dublin City & Dublin Airport Bus Service- Free Wi-Fi - Power Sockets - On-board Toilets - Non Stop Dublin to Galway Coach Service - Gobus - Great Fares from only €12". www.gobus.ie. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  35. ^ "JJ Kavanagh timetables". Archived from the original on 18 June 2012.
  36. ^ "Ardcavan timetables" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 September 2012.
  37. ^ Wexford Bus timetables
  38. ^ "Dublin Airport passengers numbers up 4% to record high of 32.9 million". RTÉ News. RTÉ. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Dublin to London is second busiest international air route in world - report".
  40. ^ "Celtic Helicopters Knocksedan Heliport".[permanent dead link]
  41. ^ Limited, Art Department (Aberdeen) (13 November 2017). "PDG Aviation Services - Helicopter Lifting, Filming & Charter". Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  42. ^ a b "swordsheritage". www.swordsheritage.com.
  43. ^ Swords Castle – The Tudors Evening Herald
  44. ^ St. Columba's Round Tower Archived 12 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine Fingal Tourism
  45. ^ "Around Swords History". homepage.eircom.net.
  46. ^ Lyne, Laura (28 April 2019). "Iconic 350-year-old North Dublin pub set to close its doors for good". dublinlive. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  47. ^ "350-year-old Lord Mayors pub in Swords set to close its doors for good". www.msn.com. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  48. ^ O'Brien, Mark (27 February 2020). "Plan to build apartments on pub site 'turning town into concrete jungle'". dublinlive. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  49. ^ "Ward River Valley Regional Park". www.fingalcoco.ie. Fingal County Council. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  50. ^ "The Jacko -The Ward River Valley Swords". Swords County Dublin. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  51. ^ "Swords Castle". www.fingalcoco.ie. Fingal County Council. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  52. ^ Broadmeadow Linear Park[permanent dead link] (Section 3.1.2)
  53. ^ "Home - National Show Centre". NSC.
  54. ^ "Boxing club win fight for new home". Fingal Independent. Independent News & Media. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  55. ^ "End Of An Era". northcountyleader.ie. 29 September 2015.
  56. ^ "Fingal Orienteers". fingal.orienteering.ie.
  57. ^ "Fingal Horticultural Society & Flower Show, Swords, North Dublin, Ireland » Gardening, growing and horticulture in Fingal". www.fingalhorticulturalsociety.com.
  58. ^ "Flavours of Fingal". Flavours of Fingal.
  59. ^ Irish Kennel Club Show Dates search Cloghran
  60. ^ "SSE Airtricty Dublin Marathon 2015". SSE Airtricty Dublin Marathon 2018. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  61. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Ingersoll Rand. Retrieved on 18 January 2011. "Global Headquarters 170/175 Lakeview Drive Airside Business Park Swords, Co. Dublin Ireland."
  62. ^ "Live Flight Information and Status Updates - Dublin Airport". www.dublinairport.com.
  63. ^ "Home". Dublin Aerospace.
  64. ^ "Eirtech Aviation". Archived from the original on 5 February 2012.
  65. ^ "News - Etihad Airways". Etihad Global.
  66. ^ "Irish Aviation Authority". Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  67. ^ "Company Profile - daa". Archived from the original on 5 July 2012.
  68. ^ "Contact Us - Aer Lingus". www.aerlingus.com.
  69. ^ CityJet. "CityJet - Contact Us". www.cityjet.com.
  70. ^ "Air Contractors". Archived from the original on 17 July 2012.
  71. ^ "Ryanair Official website News Article".[permanent dead link]
  72. ^ "Tesco Ireland Case Study: Pallet Racking, Mesh Shelving, Mesh Partitioning". www.euromech.ie.
  73. ^ "MSD Ireland". Archived from the original on 29 January 2013.
  74. ^ "Bristol-Myers Squibb Ireland".
  75. ^ "Lonza Swords". Archived from the original on 12 June 2012.
  76. ^ "Oakland expands to FoodCentral". independent.ie. Independent News & Media. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  77. ^ "FoodCentral - Homepage". www.foodcentral.eu.
  78. ^ "Keeling's Group". Archived from the original on 8 January 2013.
  79. ^ "Keeling's Farms". Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  80. ^ "Keeling's Multiples". Archived from the original on 27 March 2013.
  81. ^ "Chiquita Bananas". Archived from the original on 9 September 2012.
  82. ^ "The Top Agribusiness Companies on Top1000.ie". Top 1000.
  83. ^ "Total Produce". Archived from the original on 21 August 2014.
  84. ^ "Fyffes Swords". Archived from the original on 8 June 2012.
  85. ^ "FPC Newsdesk". www.freshproduce.org.uk. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  86. ^ "Gaelscoil Bhrian Bóroimhe - Failte - Welcome". www.gsbb.ie.
  87. ^ "Swords Educate Together National School". www.swordseducatetogether.ie.
  88. ^ "Thornleigh Educate Together National School". Archived from the original on 13 July 2012.
  89. ^ "Home - Holywell Educate Together National School". Holywell Educate Together National School.
  90. ^ "St. Cronan's Junior National School Brackenstown, Swords". St. Cronan's Junior National School Brackenstown, Swords.
  91. ^ "Scoil Chrónáin - St Cronan's Senior National School, Swords". Scoil Chrónáin - St Cronan's Senior National School, Swords.
  92. ^ "St. Colmcille's B.N.S., Swords". homepage.eircom.net.
  93. ^ "St. Colmcille's Girls' N.S. - Fáilte chuig suíomh idirlíon Scoil Cholmcille na gCailíní". www.stcolmcillesgns.scoilnet.ie. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  94. ^ "Holy Family Junior National School". www.hfjns.scoilnet.ie. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  95. ^ "Holy Family Senior National School". Archived from the original on 18 June 2009.
  96. ^ Scoil an Duinnigh
  97. ^ Proposed Mooretown Primary Schools[permanent dead link] Page 2
  98. ^ Fosterstown Primary School Archived 26 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Page 39
  99. ^ "Loreto College Swords".
  100. ^ "Colaiste Choilm Swords – Colaiste Choilm Swords". www.colaistechoilmswords.ie.
  101. ^ "Fingal CC Website".
  102. ^ "St Finian's Community College - Coláiste Fhionáin". stfinianscc.ie.
  103. ^ "Swords Community College Website".
  104. ^ Potential Lissenhall University Campus Archived 31 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine page 89
  105. ^ "National Learning Network - Home". www.nln.ie.
  106. ^ "Home - adult and further education Balbriggan, Swords, Fingal Adult Education, Skerries, Rush, Lusk, Stamullen, Gormanston, The Naul, Swords, Donabate, Portmarnock, Garristown and North Dublin". www.fingaladulteducation.ie. Archived from the original on 11 October 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  107. ^ rudden@indigo.ie, R Rudden -. "Swords Youthreach". www.iol.ie.
  108. ^ "Adult Education Service Balbriggan and Swords".
  109. ^ Census 2011 Central Statistics Office
  110. ^ "St. Colmcille's Church". Archived from the original on 21 August 2012.
  111. ^ "Church of the Visitation". Archived from the original on 21 August 2012.
  112. ^ "Our Lady Queen of Heaven Chapel". Archived from the original on 21 August 2012.
  113. ^ St. Cronan's Church Archived 6 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  114. ^ "St. Finian's Church". Archived from the original on 17 May 2013.
  115. ^ "Churches - Donabate, Portrane & Balheary Parish". www.donabateparish.ie.
  116. ^ "Emmaus Retreat and Conference Centre". Archived from the original on 3 November 2012.
  117. ^ "St Columba's Parish Swords". St Columba's Parish Swords.
  118. ^ "Church in Swords Dublin - Swords Baptist Church – Church community meeting in The Riasc Centre, Feltrim Rd, Swords, Co. Dublin". www.swordsbaptistchurch.com.
  119. ^ "低用量ピルを購入するなら、断然通販がお得!". www.missinganswer.org. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013.
  120. ^ "Welcome to Apostolic Faith Church". www.apostolicfaith.org.uk.
  121. ^ Churchtown Trust[permanent dead link] Churchtown Trust Prayer Room
  122. ^ "Jacobite Church, Swords, Ireland". www.jacobitechurchswords.com.
  123. ^ "Kingdom Hall, Kettles Lane". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  124. ^ "Ireland's largest mosque gets approval from An Bord Pleanála".
  125. ^ Curtis,E. (1921) "The FitzRerys, Welsh Lords of Cloghran, Co. Dublin" Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society Vol. 5 p.13

External links[edit]