Mayor of Fingal opens three public amenities worth €6m in Swords

The Ward River Recreational Hub, Rathbeal Archaeological Park and the first phase of the Swords Regional Park have opened

A brand new all weather facility has opened in Rivervalley

The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Howard Mahony, has opened three public amenities in Swords which represent an investment of €6million in the county capital.

They were the first phase of Swords Regional Park in Oldtown, Swords Archaeological Park in Miller’s Glen and Ward River Recreational Hub in Rivervalley.

The Mayor was accompanied by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, and the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, at the first two openings and they were then joined by Minister for State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers TD, and the Chief Executive of Dublin Airport, Vincent Harrison, at the opening of the Ward River Recreational Hub which was funded by the Council and the daa.

Speaking afterwards the Mayor said: “The parks and outdoor sports and play facilities we opened today clearly demonstrate Fingal’s continuing commitment to the provision of high-quality open space amenities.  These parks have been carefully planned and developed in combination with equally high-quality housing and related community infrastructure.”

Swords Regional Park

The 20 acre park at Oldtown represents phase one of the Swords Regional Park which will eventually develop into a major new park  extending to more than 250 acres along the banks of the Broadmeadow River between Miller’s Glen and Lissenhall and linking to the Estuary stop on the proposed MetroLink. 

Activity at the park at Rathbeal dates back to Neolithic times

Rathbeal Archaeological Park

The nine acre Rathbeal Archaeological Park in Miller’s Glen brings to 40% the amount of public open space in Fingal that is located in designated heritage landscapes. Evidence of human activity in the park goes back as far as the early Neolithic period, almost 4,000 years BC.

€6m has been invested for new community facilities in Swords

Ward River Recreational Hub

The Ward River Regional Park Recreational Hub is part of the 200 acre Ward River Regional Park and features newly developed grass pitches as well as a Third Generation all-weather sports pitch with innovative LED floodlighting. 

The new car parking provided as part of the Hub will also benefit general park users and provides a foretaste of the improvements to the park which will be included in the Ward River Regional Park Development Masterplan which will be the subject of public consultation and a planning application later this year.

The Ward River Recreational Hub represents a new direction for the Council which is now pioneering the provision of 14 Recreational Hubs to address the need for high quality public sports facilities across the County. Recreational Hubs include high specification, well serviced sports facilities designed for high intensity use, catering for a range of sporting codes and located so that they facilitate ease of access with good connectivity via active travel and sustainable transport infrastructure. 

Proximity to primary and post primary schools is also a factor in determining the optimum location for these facilities.  The intensification of use in these sports hubs is achieved by the inclusion of professionally designed and constructed grass pitches and all-weather sports pitches which are floodlit and available for evening use when demand, particularly for training activity is high. 

The Recreational Hub model is based on the Council liaising with local clubs who become major stakeholders in the ongoing management of these facilities through arrangements which also allow for continuing public access to these sports pitches.

The Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, said: “The opening of these three amenities, in different parts of the town, represents a six million euro investment and shows Fingal County Council’s commitment to ensuring Swords grows sustainably and develops into a well-designed county capital. What we have opened today is only the start of a multi-million euro series of investments in Swords by the Council over the next few years following the adoption last December by our councillors of the Sustainable Swords Strategy which contains 16 projects designed to increase the resilience of the local economy and provide for an enhanced, accessible, inclusive, child friendly and healthy urban environment.”

Speaking about their role in funding the Ward River Recreational Hub, Vincent Harrison, Managing Director of Dublin Airport, said: “Dublin Airport is committed to supporting social and sustainable development whilst recognising and valuing diverse needs in our local communities. We are delighted to have contributed to this project, and to see it develop from a concept in 2016 to the state-of-the-art facility that is now, is hugely satisfying. The delivery of the Ward River Recreational Hub project is a prime example of important collaboration and highlights Dublin Airport’s role as a conduit for good in the local community.”

Phase 1 of Swords regional park has been opened