There was plenty of creativity on display at the Donabate Portrane Summer Festival’s sandcastle competition on Saturday. Lifeguards Aoife and Sophie had a hard time choosing the winners but they eventually gave the top spot to the D Capocci family, with ‘Heritage Site’. They were followed by the Nangle family’s ‘Ariel’s Castle’, with the Dunne and Sherlock family in third place with ‘Rock Castle’. All three collected Scrumdiddly’s vouchers for their efforts.

Here’s a round-up of what’s been happening in the Fingal area this week. If you have a story or event you would like covered, please contact us on

Connect with yoga at a park-based gathering

Yoga in the park returns to Malahide Castle & Gardens this Sunday, June 10, with renowned instructor Sibylle Dallmann leading the main stage.
As well as teaching yoga for more than a decade, Sibylle is a meditation teacher and Reiki healer and runs retreats in Bali and Morocco.
She has trained in New York, London, Berlin and Dublin and is the author of The Sunday Nudge – a selection of written word articles, created with the intention to help people navigate life with lightness, integrity and grace.
Tickets for the event are available on the Eventbrite website (€20 adult early bird, €45 family of three kids and two adults), with proceeds going to nominated charities. For further information or to buy a ticket, see

Rathbeale Road set for 2018 traffic disruptions

Traffic disruptions are expected on the Rathbeale Road in Swords later this year as major works get under way.
Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) asked for an update at a recent council area meeting and was informed that tender documents are being prepared for the Rathbeale Road project with a view to starting work in late 2018.
The council stated: “Any road closure is a statutory process requiring public consultation. The timing and conditions will have to be agreed with the Operations Department of Fingal County Council.”
Work on the Swords water main upgrade continues on the Forest Road and is due to hit Main Street later this summer.

Hothouse Flowers to headline Swords festival

Hothouse Flowers have been announced as the headline act for Swords Summer Festival. Liam O Maonlai and his band will play live at Swords Castle on Saturday, July 21, from 9pm.
A busy weekend of activity is planned for the annual festival including a street carnival, workshops and live entertainment. Tickets for Hothouse Flowers (€17.50) are available from

‘Collapse’ in nursing slammed

Sinn Fein health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has slammed the Government over the “collapse” in the number of community nurses working in Fingal.
Community Healthcare Organisations (CHO) are outside of acute hospitals and include primary care, social care, mental health and other services, but numbers have been slashed in recent years.
Deputy O’Reilly revealed: “Since December 2007, the number of nurses … decreased by 2,235 nurses even though the population has risen.
“In CHO Area 9, which covers north Dublin and Fingal, the number of community nurses has decreased by a staggering 175 since 2007 even though demand for services is through the roof.”

Helping memories Bloom at the busy garden festival

Former Minister for Justice Nora Owen, and her husband Brian, from Malahide, are pictured at the launch of Moments in Time, a dementia-friendly garden at Bloom in the Phoenix Park.
Nora is an ambassador for the Dementia: Understand Together campaign, and has spoken of her experience caring for her husband, who has dementia.
The garden included a range of dementia-friendly features including plants to trigger memories, such as daisies, carnations and hydrangeas.
Members of the Baldoyle-based Forget Me Nots choir (inset) performed at the garden over the bank holiday weekend.
The socially-inclusive community choir welcomes older people, family and friends of those with dementia and is especially welcoming of those affected by dementia and memory loss.
There are approximately 55,000 people living in Ireland with dementia, with this number expected to more than double by 2036.

€155k funding boost to help childcare providers

Fingal childcare providers have been awarded a total of €155,000 in grants giving up to 70,000 children extra supports. Deputy Alan Farrell welcomed the announcement by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone.
Really Cool Afterschool and Montessori School, Balbriggan has been awarded €50,000 to provide for new places, and a further €6,359 for outdoor play areas. Smarty Pants, St Catherine’s NS, Rush has also been granted €50,000 to expand its numbers and €4,997 for outdoor play areas.
Funding for natural outdoor play areas has been granted to: Little Cherubs Montessori, Balbriggan (€5,136); Market Green Montessori, Balbriggan (€4,877); Tots & Swots, Balbriggan (€7,000); Circle of Friends Montessori, Balbriggan (€6,645). Strand 4 (school age) funding of €19,998 to facilitate for new places is being provided to Cocoon Childcare, Balbriggan.