The funding to help with St Columba’s Church’s restoration must be matched by local fundraising activities

ST COLUMBA’S Church in Swords is to receive €15,000 in funding as part of the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme 2014.
The church, which is more than 1,500 years old, was forced to shut its doors due to structural damage, which caused part of the roof to cave in.
Jonathan Foley, chairman of the church’s fundraising committee, said: “We are delighted to have received confirmation that €15,000 is being made available to St Columba’s Church from Fingal County Council.
“This grant is made available only under the condition that we start the restoration work and match that amount with funds from our own fundraising activities.”
He stressed that further funding was still needed for the revamp, saying: “This is an early milestone and a step in the right direction, but we still have a long road ahead and urge the people of Swords and beyond to continue with us in our efforts to restore this beautiful, historic landmark.
“We would also like to thank those who have helped us get to this stage.”
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) has raised St Columba’s difficulties in the past, and promoted the campaign from the Help Us Make History group that is dedicated to saving the church.
He said: “I would like to welcome the €15,000 being made available to St Columba’s Church.
“I would see the restoration and reopening of this church as of huge importance to Swords and anything that helps towards this is very helpful; however, there is still a long way to go.
“If there are any generous benefactors out there, I would ask them to visit www.helpusmakehistory.org and see what they can do to help this campaign.”
Cllr Anne Devitt (Ind) said: “All funding is most welcome for this worthy cause. The church is an important part of the rich heritage of Swords, and I am anxious to preserve same and develop our tourism potential within the town and surrounding area.”
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht initiated the scheme this year to assist with the repair and conservation of protected structures and buildings within architectural conservation areas that contribute to the character of the place.
The aim is to encourage the leveraging of private capital to invest in a number of small-scale, labour-intensive repair and conservation projects.
Other structures in Fingal which will avail of the scheme this year are Old Kilbush House, Rush (€15,000); Skerries, Station House (€5,680); a thatched dwelling, Drishoge Lane (€15,000); a thatched dwelling, Toberburr Road, Killeek (€15,000); Woodbine Cottage and Forge, Donabate (€13,200); The Grange, Drishoge Lane, (€13,200); The Bothy, Lambay Island (€9,220); Tankard Ville, Brecan Close, Balbriggan (€8,700); No 7, Castle Terrace, Malahide (€15,000) and Wellfield, Malahide Road (€15,000).
Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG) welcomed the news of funding for Malahide, saying: “These properties are rightly categorised as architectural properties and getting this funding will help in the conservation of these important 18th and 19th century properties for locals and visitors alike.
“These awards will also help to provide much needed employment to local skilled craftsmen in Fingal.”
For further information on St Columba’s Church, see www.helpusmakehistory.org or keep up with the campaign at facebook.com/savestcolumbaschurch.

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