Out with the old, in with the view of Swords Castle

by Ian Begley
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THE improvement works at Swords Castle took a major step forward this week when demolition of the derelict buildings in front of the castle at North Street began.
The demolition will facilitate necessary masonry consolidation works to the east wall of the castle and will involve local traffic management on North Street, including the temporary closure of the footpath.
The contractors, L&M Keating Ltd, have spent several days preparing the buildings for demolition, which began on Tuesday.
Fingal County Council executive architect Brian O’Connor said the work on the gatehouse is well under way, and the installation of a new vault was recently completed.
Other work in progress on the site includes alterations to paths and landscaping of paths, and the removal of cabins inside the castle walls.
The current phase of works also includes the reconfiguration of the temporary events information cabin inside the castle walls and the installation of new external lighting and site services to facilitate better all-year access within the castle.
The castle is remaining open as a heritage attraction during the works, which will provide better access and an improved visitor experience upon completion.
Mayor David O’Connor (Ind) said: “It has been a long time coming but it great to see that the buildings on North Street are about to be demolished, and the east wall of Swords Castle will be visible to everybody.
“This is part of a much needed rejuvenation of the north end of Swords’ Main Street and it is great to see the progress that has been made, to date.”
Fingal County Council chief executive Paul Reid said: “The demolition of the North Street buildings represents a major milestone in the Swords Castle project.
“When Swords Cultural Quarter is completed, it will greatly enhance the town and provide a major boost to the local economy and the community.”
Swords Castle is a national monument. The works are partially funded under a grant issued under the European Regional Development Fund for Swords Cultural Quarter, and this phase of the project will cost just under €500,000.

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