EU Commissioner visits Swords Castle

by Rachel Cunningham
0 comment

The EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, Elisa Ferreira, visited Swords Castle this week to view first hand the conversion project that was supported under the European Regional Development Fund.

Commissioner Ferreira was greeted on arrival by the Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Howard Mahony, and was given a guided tour of the Castle by County Architect Fionnuala May and members of her team. Fingal County Council architects assembled and led two teams of specialist conservation engineers and heritage contractors to complete this complex project.

“It was a terrific opportunity to highlight the importance of ERDF funding to support sustainable urban development projects led by local authorities and the Commissioner was very impressed with the work that has been done at Swords Castle,” said the Mayor.

EU Commissioner Visit

Swords Castle, which is a National Monument and is on the Fingal County Council Record of Protected Structures, is a place of national cultural significance and has been in local authority ownership since 1985.

Before the current phases of works commenced in 2015, Swords Castle was largely closed to the public, however, it is now accessible seven days a week for visitors, and has become a venue for concerts, civil weddings, archaeological digs and seasonal festivals, as well providing a quiet, historic focus in the heart of Swords.

Works included a 140m Wall Walk upgrade, with new access stairs and the rebuilding of the entrance Gatehouse vault.

The demolition of a long terrace of empty street-front premises revealed a wider view of the Castle facing Main Street and North Street which included the Castle Chapel.

“It was great to point out to the Commissioner that the conservation work on Swords Castle has been the catalyst for the Swords Cultural Quarter project which will see the construction of a new Civic and Cultural Centre across the road from the Castle and a reimaging of the public realm around the Castle,” said Ms May.

EU Commissioner Visit

Commissioner Ferreira said she enjoyed her short visit to Swords Castle and added: “It’s really important to see how, in practice, the funds from the European Union are used. Now we have a very beautiful historical place that brings pride to people and that in fact improves the quality of life of all the citizens around. This is an example, together with the many other examples that we can find all over Europe and all over Ireland, of a good use of the taxpayers’ money.”

Related Articles