Swords, Dublin


Sord[N 1]

Sord Cholmcille
North Street, Swords
North Street, Swords
Your Swords, an Emerging City[1]
Swords is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Swords is located in Europe
Swords (Europe)
Coordinates: 53°27′35″N 6°13′05″W / 53°27′35″N 6°13′05″W / 53.4597; -6.2181
EU ConstituencyDublin
Dáil ConstituencyDublin Fingal
Local Electoral AreasSwords, Malahide
County Town1994
Founded bySt Colmcille
Named for(possibly) St Colmcille's Well
County HallMain Street, Swords
Electoral Divisions[2]
 • TypeLocal authority (whole county, not just Swords)
 • BodyFingal County Council
 • Urban11.35 km2 (4.38 sq mi)
 • Metro15.99 km2 (6.17 sq mi)
 Source: CSO Sapmap Viewer
Highest elevation60 m (200 ft)
Lowest elevation0 m (0 ft)
 • Urban42,738
 • Urban density3,765/km2 (9,750/sq mi)
 • Swords CT
 • Swords CT density3,615/km2 (9,360/sq mi)
 • Kinsealy-Drinan CT
 • Kinsealy-Drinan CT density5,101/km2 (13,210/sq mi)
 Source: Census 2011
Ethnic or Cultural Background
 • White Irish30,946
 • White Other7,089
 • Asian or Asian Irish1,169
 • Black or Black Irish1,142
 • White Irish Traveller96
Time zoneUTC0 (WET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (WEST)
Postal Hub
Postal Sorting Office
Dialing Code+353(0)1
ISO 3166 codeIE-D
Vehicle registrationD
Map of Swords

Swords (from Irish: Sord or Sord Cholmcille) is the county town of Fingal and a satellite of Dublin, Ireland. One of the larger settlements of Greater Dublin, the town is the closest to Dublin Airport, and is home to one of the Dublin region's larger shopping centres, extensive other retail facilities, and a range of industries. Lying on the Ward River, it features a restored medieval castle, a holy well from which it takes its name, a round tower and a Norman tower, presumably built by the same Normans who constructed the castle.

The name "Swords" is also applicable to a townland,[N 2] to the civil parish, within the historic County Dublin, and to the local electoral area.


The town's origins date back to 560 AD when it was reputedly founded by Saint Colmcille (521–567).[11] Legend has it that the saint blessed a local well, giving the town its name, Sord, meaning "clear" or "pure". However, An Sord also means "the water source" and could indicate a large communal drinking well that existed in antiquity.[12] St. Colmcille's Well is located on Well Road off Main Street. Sord may also refer to a "sward", an 'expanse of grass'.[13] The most ubiquitous landscape indicators of Early Christian Settlement are the ecclesiastical enclosures. In Swords case the street pattern has been influenced by the circular alignment of the settlement. The medieval town developed in a linear pattern along Main Street in a north – south direction. Swords has one of the best examples of this settlement pattern in the Dublin region. The round tower, 26m in height, is also an indicator of early Christian settlement. The Irish high king Brian Boru is said to have had his funeral at the church on the Spittal hill after he was killed at the battle of Clontarf; this was of course before the hospital and even the Church of Ireland when there would have been a small chapel there along with the round tower. At the northern end of the street stands Swords Castle, 200m northeast of the ecclesiastical site, which was built in the early 13th century. A short distance north of the Castle is an elevation known as Spittal Hill, where a hospital once stood.[14]

In 1994, Swords became the county seat of the new county of Fingal after the abolition of the former County Dublin as an administrative county. In 2001, upon the completion of the County Hall, senior executive offices moved there from Parnell Square in Dublin city centre.

In June 2006, the RNLI Ireland officially opened its new all-Ireland headquarters at Airside Business Park, within greater Swords. It was officially opened by President Mary McAleese. In attendance at this Presidential ceremony was Admiral Sir Jock Slater, RN, a former British First Sea Lord then serving as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the R.N.L.I..

Strategic Vision

Fingal County Council's Strategic Vision for Swords is to create a sustainable "new city." The Council has referred to Swords as an "emerging city" and it projects that the population of Swords will rise towards 100,000 by the year 2035.[15] The town is the seventh largest urban area in the country, and the third largest in County Dublin, after Dublin City and Tallaght.

Quality of life

In 2012, Swords was named the third best town in Ireland to live in. The survey conducted by Retail Excellence Ireland took into account safety, retail, dining, entertainment, events, car parking and overall attractiveness of the town.[16] Since the mid-1990s Swords has seen improvements in shop fronts, public buildings and footpaths and the restoration of Swords Castle. In 2003 the Irish Business Against Litter survey scored Swords the worst litter blackspot in the country.[17] Following a huge improvement to litter in the town, in their 2011 survey Swords was declared the second cleanest town in Ireland.[18]


The cleanliness of Swords has hugely improved in recent years. In 2003 the Irish Business Against Litter survey scored Swords the worst litter blackspot in the country.[19] Following a huge improvement to litter in the town, in their 2011 survey Swords was declared the second cleanest town in Ireland.[18]

Main Street, Swords in 1940
Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сордс
български: Суордс
Cebuano: Swords
čeština: Swords
Deutsch: Swords
español: Swords
euskara: Swords
فارسی: اسوردز
français: Swords
Gaeilge: Sord
galego: Swords
한국어: 스워즈
Bahasa Indonesia: Swords
italiano: Swords
עברית: סוורדס
lietuvių: Sordsas
Nederlands: Swords (plaats)
norsk: Swords
norsk nynorsk: Swords
polski: Swords
português: Swords (Irlanda)
русский: Сордс
slovenčina: Swords
српски / srpski: Сордс
svenska: Swords
українська: Сордз
中文: 斯沃司