Wednesday 16 October 2019

'Swords Voices' will be heard once more

The 26th edition of Swords voices is launched

Jim Bennett, Bernadette Marks, Geraldine McGovern & Cllr Joe Newman at launch of Swords Voices
Jim Bennett, Bernadette Marks, Geraldine McGovern & Cllr Joe Newman at launch of Swords Voices

The Atrium in the County Hall, Swords was packed to capacity on Wednesday, 25 September for the launch of the 26th edition of Swords Voices, the wonderful collection of oral history stories, which has been compiled so lovingly over the years by Bernadette Marks.

In a multi-faceted event, the first business of the evening was the announcement of the winners in the poetry and short story competitions.

This was followed by the reading of the winning essay in the third competition, 'What Swords means to me'.

The audience was captivated as 89 years old, Nessie Bergin, read her essay which recounted her memories of Swords in the late 1930's and early 1940s.

The Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Councillor Tom Kitt, who has a very keen interest in local history, indicated his pleasure at being invited to launch Swords Voices.

He emphasised the importance of local historical societies, and he was fulsome in his praise of Swords Voices.

He congratulated everyone who had submitted entries to the various competitions, and he encouraged them to persevere with their artistic endeavours.

He commended Bernadette Marks on her achievement in producing such an excellent publication,with Geraldine McGovern & Liam Heron and he hoped that everyone present plus the wider community would purchase the book for the giveaway price of €5.

There was a review of the content of Swords Voices, and the audience was given a very brief synopsis of some of the stories.

Among those who contributed to this edition were Bernadette Troy, Kieron A. Gargan, Jennifer Caul, Marie Moffitt, Anne Rhodes and Áine Ní Bhruadair.

The Niemba Ambush in which Matthew Farrell of Swords and eight of his colleagues were killed was recounted, as was the story of the late Brendan Grace's solo debut in the school hall of St Colmcille's NS.

The final event was a question and answer session which was facilitated by Mr James Bennett, the former Principal of St Colmcille's BNS, and he asked Bernadette Marks to provide a commentary on some of the magnificently evocative photographs which are contained in the first five editions of Swords Voices.

There was tremendous involvement from the audience in this section of the programme as people recognised their parents, grandparents and former classmates.

This event was a great success. The Swords Historical Society wishes to thank everyone who attended, and it is grateful to the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Tom Kitt and the County Councillors Darragh Butler and Dean Mulligan who were present.

The Society acknowledges with gratitude the commitment of Councillor Joe Newman who was responsible for the logistics involved in the organisation of the evening. The Society is also indebted to the sponsors Fingal County Council, Council, Dublin Airport Authority, Mrs Mary McCormack, Tara Winthorp Clinic., and the wider community around the Swords area for the support which it receives throughout the year in all its activities.

Fingal Independent