Call to revitalise centre of Swords

by Gazette Reporter
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Local Labour councillor Tom Kelleher is urging Fingal County Council to give Swords a bit of “time, attention and expertise”, and to revitalise the centre of the town, in order to facilitate the growth of business and tourism and to eliminate the issue of dereliction.

With the town coming third in a list of the 100 Best Towns and Cities in Ireland recently, Cllr Kelleher said Swords has “huge potential” when it comes to breathing new life into the area.

He raised a motion at a recent area committee meeting stating that: “Swords is considered the Cinderella of North County Dublin, when it comes to spending money on facilities and development.”

While there are premises closing down in Swords, Cllr Kelleher insisted there are also a number of areas that are opening up and developing.

“I think this should be a catalyst for everybody with an interest in Swords to take the initiative now and push to have Swords continue to excel. We are not facilitating the development of Swords to the extent that we could.

“We need to expand the centre of Swords, make it easy for people to come, open businesses, to shop and do business generally that involves a better looking Swords, a better organised Swords and the elimination of dereliction.”

Cllr Kelleher said he was delighted with the council’s response, which stated that as part of the Fingal Economic and Enterprise Strategy 2012 – 15, currently being developed by the Economic Development Division, an economic forum is to be set up in Swords, Balbriggan and Blanchardstown. It is intended that this forum will carry out a SWOT  (strengths. weaknesses, opportunities and treats) analysis of the areas and identify key actions to be carried out.

“It’s time that Swords, with its big population and not an awful lot of facilities, got a bit of our time, attention and expertise,” the councillor said.

He also proposed a motion at the meeting for the council to deal with derelict buildings and, in particular, those owned by FCC. He said it was necessary to demolish derelict buildings in the area, with particular reference to the buildings adjacent to Swords Castle.

“There is so much we could do to enhance Swords by removing the dereliction that we are responsible for whether we like it or not. They are an appalling sight and they are an insult to the people of Swords at a time when we’re trying to attract business, footfall and development to Swords.”

In response, the council stated that while a list of privately owned sites in Swords are currently being investigated by the inspectorate division, there are no immediate plans to redevelop the council owned buildings at North Street due to budgetary and other constraints.

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