Sunday 25 August 2019

Inclusivity and diversity are the keys to success for Swords Tidy Towns

Swords Streets

Swords Tidy Towns chairman, Ken Duffy with RTE presenter, Zainab Bolodale
Swords Tidy Towns chairman, Ken Duffy with RTE presenter, Zainab Bolodale

A new sculpture created by Swords Tidy Towns will be unveiled near the Malahide Roundabout later this month, welcoming visitors to the town in a spirit of inclusiveness and cultural diversity.

The 'Inclusion Sculpture', consisting of nine railway sleepers standing upright, represents Swords' multiculturism, the celebration of a community working together, and the ethos of Swords Tidy Towns.

Inscribed in the sculpture are the tenets of Swords Tidy Towns' philosophy - 'Inclusiveness', 'Diversity' and 'Peace', in recognition of the many cultural backgrounds of the town.

The project is part of Swords Tidy Towns' ongoing work to bring communities together under one common goal.

Ken Duffy, Chairman of Swords Tidy Towns explains:

'This was the brainchild of two of our members, Mary Maxwell and Matt Cullen. Mary chose all the plants and all the flowers, and Matt has an artistic background and has had a couple of displays, with another exhibition in Fingal County Council as well.

'He had a number of designs which he brought to the executive committee meeting, and we all had a look and chose one of them. It was really a collaboration between Swords Tidy Towns and Fingal County Council. There was €2,000 worth of plants put in around the sculpture as well, which was paid for through the daa because they give out grants each year for different projects around Fingal.'

He says: 'Hopefully now we'll be working with AnnMarie Farrelly, who has come up through the ranks within Fingal County Council, and she's fantastic. Hopefully her position as interim CEO will become a permanent one, because she's fantastic in that job. She's familiar with Fingal, she's not someone who has been brought in from outside who doesn't understand the dynamics of the community.'

Swords Tidy Towns have set the unveiling of the Inclusion Sculpture for July 30 at 6.30pm, to be attended by Mayor of Fingal Cllr Eoghan O'Brien, and of course, the whole community of Swords.

Meanwhile, Swords Tidy Towns will be the focus of national attention later this year when it appears on RTE's 'Nationwide' programme to document its continued work on its 2017 'National Diversity Award.'

The special National Diversity Award was awarded to Swords Tidy Towns in recognition of how it represents the whole community, regardless of age, ethnic background or gender.

The 'Nationwide' crew recently filmed members of Swords Tidy Towns to follow up on progress made since its 2017 award, in order to highlight the importance of inclusivity in communities nationwide.

Chairperson of Swords Tidy Towns, Ken Duffy, explains:

'Nationwide have been out already, and filmed our crew and some of our members with ethnic backgrounds. Then, they filmed some of our volunteers out working on a project and hopefully maybe next week they'll get back to me and let me know when it's being shown on TV.'

Fingal Independent