THE COUNCIL has promised a 'comprehensive' plan for the future of Swords Castle to be completed this year, with calls growing for the conservation project ongoing for decades to be speeded up.
Frustration is growing in Swords that the castle at its centre cannot be opened up more regularly and utilised as both a tourist attraction and a centre for community events. It is one of the issues in Swords that Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) has been campaigning on and he has asked for the same level of investment in the castle that has been seen recently at Malahide Castle and Gardens as it got a €10m facelift.
The council issued a report in response to that call for investment. It stated: 'A comprehensive Conservation Management Plan is currently being prepared for Swords Castle. ' This plan will be published in 2013 and will detail possible future uses for the castle which will ensure its future conservation while at the same time maximising its economic and tourism potential.
' The plan will also outline and prioritise future capital investment in this important heritage property to make it accessible for these planned uses. The council is also in discussions with Fáilte Ireland about the best ways to promote and develop Fingal and heritage properties in Fingal including Swords Castle.'
Cllr Butler said he was now optimistic with this report and promises from the county manager made at the recent Budget meeting. But he warned that the castle project should not be taken in isolation and should be developed alongside a network of heritage properties around the town of Swords. 'I hope it won't be too long before we get positive news out of Swords Castle but in the meantime we will keep fighting and keep watching,' Cllr Butler said. Cllr Devitt (NP) said she wanted to see things moving sooner rather than later and wanted some 'early wins' so the castle, as a resource for the town was not ' lost to another generation'.