Swords, Dublin
Swords is the county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 of Fingal
Fingal is a county in Ireland. It is one of three smaller counties into which County Dublin was divided in 1994. With its county seat located in Swords, it has a population of 239,992 according to the 2006 census...

 in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. It is about 13 km north of Dublin city centre and is part of its commuter
Commuting is regular travel between one's place of residence and place of work or full time study. It sometimes refers to any regular or often repeated traveling between locations when not work related.- History :...



The town can trace its origins back to 560, having been founded by Saint Colmcille (521-567). Legend has it that the saint blessed a local well, giving the town 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; the well is located on Church Road off Main Street opposite the pavilions. Sord may also refer to a "sward", an 'expanse of grass'. In 1994, Swords became a county seat
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 after the breakup of the former County Dublin
County Dublin
County Dublin is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Dublin Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the city of Dublin which is the capital of Ireland. County Dublin was one of the first of the parts of Ireland to be shired by King John of England following the...

; in 2001, it became the administrative centre for Fingal
Fingal is a county in Ireland. It is one of three smaller counties into which County Dublin was divided in 1994. With its county seat located in Swords, it has a population of 239,992 according to the 2006 census...

, upon the completion of the Fingal County Hall.

In June 2006, the R.N.L.I.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways....

 Ireland officially opened its new All Ireland headquarters at Airside in Swords. The new Irish
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 H.Q. was officially opened by Her Excellency President Mary McAleese
Mary McAleese
Mary Patricia McAleese served as the eighth President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011. She was the second female president and was first elected in 1997 succeeding Mary Robinson, making McAleese the world's first woman to succeed another as president. She was re-elected unopposed for a second term in...

. In attendance at this Presidential
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

 ceremony was Admiral Sir Jock Slater, R.N.
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, a former British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 First Sea Lord
First Sea Lord
The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service; it was formerly known as First Naval Lord. He also holds the title of Chief of Naval Staff, and is known by the abbreviations 1SL/CNS...

 who was serving as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the R.N.L.I..


Swords (once a self-contained town outside Dublin's city limits
City limits
The terms city limits and city boundary refer to the defined boundary or border of a city. The area within the city limits is sometimes called the city proper. The terms town limits/boundary and village limits/boundary mean the same as city limits/boundary, but apply to towns and villages...

) has developed into one of Dublin's largest commuter town
Commuter town
A commuter town is an urban community that is primarily residential, from which most of the workforce commutes out to earn their livelihood. Many commuter towns act as suburbs of a nearby metropolis that workers travel to daily, and many suburbs are commuter towns...

s. The town's population boom began in the 1970s with the construction of the sprawling Rivervalley Estate, Ireland's largest private housing development, ahead of Kilnamanagh Estate in Tallaght North, and continued during the 1990s and 2000s, with many new residents moving to the area due to its proximity to their work at Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport, , is operated by the Dublin Airport Authority. Located in Collinstown, in the Fingal part of County Dublin, 18.4 million passengers passed through the airport in 2010, making it the busiest airport in the Republic of Ireland, followed by Cork and Shannon...

. Swords is accessed by the R132
R132 road
The R132 road is one of Ireland's newest regional roads, having been classified following the opening M1 motorway which by-passes most of the old N1 route.By-passed sections of the old N1 were reclassified R132...

 and the M1 motorway
M1 motorway (Ireland)
M1 motorway may refer to:*M1 motorway *M1 motorway...


At the 2006 census the town population was 33,998, which makes it the third largest town in the Republic of Ireland and 8th largest on the island of Ireland.

The town is close to Dublin Airport, and is separated from the city by a narrow green belt
Green belt
A green belt or greenbelt is a policy and land use designation used in land use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighbouring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges which have a linear character and may run through an...

 around the airport.


Since the mid 1990s Swords has seen improvements in shop fronts, public buildings, footpaths and the restoration of Swords Castle
Swords Castle
Swords Castle was built as the manorial residence of the Archbishops of Dublin 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 with a tower on the north, probably the Constable's...


The 2009 Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) Survey scored Swords the 6th cleanest town in Ireland in their independently assessed nationwide survey of all towns with a population of 6,000 and over.


Swords is a socio-economically mixed area with the local housing stock being made up of private and local authority housing.

In 1999 the Seatown Villas area of Swords celebrated 50 years in existence, making it the oldest local authority housing estate in Dublin outside of the city limits. In 2005, Fingal County Council opened 225 council housing units in the Applewood development in Swords. This is the first such public-private housing development to take place in Fingal where private development is inter-mixed with local authority housing. This successful pilot scheme has been replicated in the south of the town in the Boroimhe Estate and also in the Mulhuddart
Mulhuddart is a suburb situated to the north-west of Dublin city, in the barony of Castleknock, Ireland. The River Tolka passes near the village.-Location and access:The N3 dual carriageway now by-passes the village...



The main bus routes to the city centre from (or via) Swords are the 41\B\C\N, 33 (all via Santry
Santry is a suburb on the Northside of Dublin, Ireland, bordering Coolock, Glasnevin and Ballymun. Today it straddles the boundary of Dublin City and Fingal County Council area....

) and 43 (via Coolock
Coolock is a large suburban area, centred on a village, on Dublin city's Northside in Ireland. Coolock is crossed by the Santry River, a prominent feature in the middle of the district, with a linear park and ponds...

). The Swords Express and Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus
Dublin Bus is a public transport operator in Ireland. It operates an extensive bus network of 172 radial, cross-city and peripheral routes and 18 night routes in the city of Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area. The company, established in 1987, is a subsidiary of Córas Iompair Éireann which is...

 142 and 41X routes provide fast access to the city via the Dublin Port Tunnel
Dublin Port Tunnel
The Dublin Port Tunnel is a road traffic tunnel in Dublin, Ireland, that forms part of the M50 motorway....

. Buses 102 and 33B travel from Dublin Airport via Swords to Portmarnock
Portmarnock is a small suburban village to the north of Dublin, Ireland. It is in the administrative county of Fingal.-Location:Portmarnock lies on the coast and, owing to its proximity to Dublin city, is a form of dormitory village north-northeast of the city centre...

 and from Swords to Balbriggan
Balbriggan is a town in the northern part of the administrative county of Fingal, within County Dublin, Ireland. The 2006 census population was 15,559 for Balbriggan and its environs.- Name :...

 respectively. The future Metro North line will run from Swords to St Stephen's Green via Dublin Airport, Ballymun
Ballymun is an area on Dublin's Northside close to Dublin Airport, Ireland. It is infamous for the Ballymun flats, which became a symbol of poverty, drugs, alienation from the state and social problems in Ireland from the 1970s...

, Dublin City University
Dublin City University
Dublin City University is a university situated between Glasnevin, Santry, Ballymun and Whitehall on the Northside of Dublin in Ireland...

, Griffith Avenue, Lower Drumcondra Road, the Mater Hospital, and O'Connell Street.


The award winning Fingal County Hall by Bucholz McEvoy architects dominates the northern end of Main Street. Swords Castle is undergoing a significant redevelopment and is intended to become a centre of leisure and a tourist attraction. The body of Brian Boru
Brian Boru
Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, , , was an Irish king who ended the domination of the High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill. Building on the achievements of his father, Cennétig mac Lorcain, and especially his elder brother, Mathgamain, Brian first made himself King of Munster, then subjugated...

 was said to have been brought there after the Battle of Clontarf
Battle of Clontarf
The Battle of Clontarf took place on 23 April 1014 between the forces of Brian Boru and the forces led by the King of Leinster, Máel Mórda mac Murchada: composed mainly of his own men, Viking mercenaries from Dublin and the Orkney Islands led by his cousin Sigtrygg, as well as the one rebellious...

, though recent evidence would suggest that the destination was Swords Abbey, which lies slightly to the west of the Main Street.

Swords Boxing Club

Sword's boxing club is located off main street,the club was established over 50 years ago and fights many tournaments.

"Out-of-town" shopping area

Swords has a wide range of shops, banks, pubs and other businesses, including a large modern shopping centre, the Pavilions Centre, off the R132, the recent extension of which has a multi-screen cinema.

Skate park

In mid 2006, the local authority built a skatepark
A skatepark is a purpose-built recreational environment made for skateboarding, BMX, aggressive inline skating and scooters. A skatepark may contain half-pipes, quarter pipes, spine transfers, handrails, funboxes, vert ramps, pyramids, banked ramps, full pipes, pools, bowls, snake runs stairsets,...

 and adjoining basketball courts/football court in Swords, located in Balheary Park. The park contains a bowl, a vertwall, a spine, some quarterpipes, and a section of boxes in the middle of the park.


There are several golf courses close to the town, namely Swords Open Golf Course, Forest 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 the country with automated tees . Also, the Grange Driving range is rated as a 5 star Driving Range


Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll-Rand plc is a $13 billion global diversified industrial company founded in 1871. The Ingersoll Rand name came into use in 1905 through the combination of Ingersoll-Sergeant Drill Company and Rand Drill Company...

 has its corporate headquarters in the Airside Business Park in Swords. CityJet
CityJet Limited is an Irish regional airline headquartered in the Swords Business Campus in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland. It operates at London City Airport, and flies franchise services on behalf of its parent company Air France from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Since the take over of VLM...

 has its headquarters in the Swords Business Campus. Air Contractors
Air Contractors
Air Contractors Limited is a freight airline. It operates scheduled freight services throughout Europe on behalf of major integrators such as FedEx Feeder and DHL Express...

 has its head office in The Plaza in Swords.

Swords is the home to international chemical producers and pharmaceutical giants Opec and Bristol Myers Squibb, and also 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. East of the town, running parallel to Swords bypass, lies the large Swords Business Park. The Hertz Corporation
The Hertz Corporation
Hertz Global Holdings Inc is an American car rental company with international locations in 145 countries worldwide.-Early years:The company was founded by Walter L. Jacobs in 1918, who started a car rental operation in Chicago with a dozen Model T Ford cars. In 1923, Jacobs sold it to John D...

 have a Shared Services Centre in Swords Business Park.


The district is served by a number of schools, including seven national schools: Holy Family, Saint Cronan's, Saint Colmcille's, Gaelscoil Scoil an Duinninigh, Gaelscoil Bhrian Boroimhe, an Educate Together
Educate Together
Educate Together is an organisation in the Republic of Ireland which sets up and runs multidenominational, coeducational schools. It was founded in 1984 as a result of the Dalkey School Project to found a multidenominational primary school....

 school and a Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 "The Old Borough" school. There are also four secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...

s in the town: Loreto College, an all-girls school, Coláiste Choilm, an all-boys school, Fingal Community College, and Saint Finian's Community College.

There is also a Youthreach facility, a FÁS
Fas can mean the following:* Fas receptor, an important cell surface receptor protein of the TNF receptor family known also as CD95, that induces apoptosis on binding Fas ligand.* Fes, Morocco, the third largest city in Morocco, as an alternate spelling...

 training centre, and the Fingal Adult Literacy and Education Centre. There is also a Beauty College registered with ITEC & CIBTAC called Lenagh's College.
Swords Museum, North St Swords. Co Dublin.
Swords Historical Society, North St Swords

Notable residents and references in popular culture

  • Ed Byrne
    Ed Byrne
    Ed Byrne is a Perrier Award-nominated, Irish stand-up comedian, voice over artist and actor. He has presented television shows Uncut! Best Unseen Ads and Just for Laughs, and is a regular guest on various television panel games...

    , comedian, is from Swords.
  • Ronan Keating
    Ronan Keating
    Ronan Patrick John Keating is an Irish recording artist, singer-songwriter, musician, and philanthropist. Keating debuted on the professional music scene alongside Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Stephen Gately, in 1994 as the lead singer of Boyzone. His solo career started in 1999, and...

    , singer-songwriter, lived in the Highfields residential development on the suburb's southern side.
  • Richard Montgomery
    Richard Montgomery
    Richard Montgomery was an Irish-born soldier who first served in the British Army. He later became a brigadier-general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and he is most famous for leading the failed 1775 invasion of Canada.Montgomery was born and raised in Ireland...

     hero of the American revolution, born in Swords

See also

  • List of abbeys and priories in County Dublin
  • List of towns and villages in Ireland

External links

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