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A History Of Swords - Transport

Transport From Swords Dublin - 1900
Swords is situated 8 statute miles from the G.P.O., Dublin, or
7 Irish miles from Dublin Castle to North Street, Swords, by the old Irish milestones, Blocks of granite ft. high, with the number of miles cut out on the stone, and the name of the next town. Milestones were placed at intervals of one mile.
The tram terminus of Whitehall and Drumcondra, was only 6 statute miles from Swords. Nevertheless, very few walked the distance to Dublin if they had to return, as 12 or more miles was regarded as too much. Farmers travelled by pony and trap, horse and gig or outside car (hackney). The giving of lifts was not usual unless to very intimate friends. Those who did not possess a pony (donkeys were never used except by dealers and tinkers), availed of a passenger service:
1. The Mail Car, one horse.
2. Savages Car Service, Swords to Dublin, one horse.
3. Caffreys long car to Malahide Railway Station, two horses.
4. Savages long car, also to Nalahide Railway Station, two horses.
The Mail Car, one horse, brought the mails from Dublin each morning about 8.00, and returned to Dublin with the mails at 7.00 in the evening. Four or five passengers were carried, 1/- single journey, 1/6 return. Savages car started from Swords at 9.30 a.m. and returned from Dublin in the evening to arrive about 6.00 p.m. The car stabled in Bolton Street, Dublin, during the day. Bob Savage also carried parcels of goods which Swords people would ask him to buy in Dublin shops, and he charged a small commission for the service. Savages fare was 1/- single and 1/6 return. He carried six passengers, as a maximii load.
Caffreys long car, two horses, was under contract to the Great Northern Railways to meet trains three times a day, for which he got a grant from the Railway. The fare to Malahide was 6d, single, 9d. return. The return fare from Malahide to Dublin was 1/-, 9d. single. Caffreys long car, two horses, could carry about twenty passengers, full load, but usually about 16, including luggage. Savages long car could carry about the same number of passengers, 16 - 20, the fares were the same, 6d. single, 9d. _return, children half price.
These cars, by direct road to Diblin, the Nail Car and Savages car, took 12 hours, including stops. The cars to Malahide Station, 3 miles, took 20 minutes, and the train journey about 15 minutes (9 miles Malahide to Dublin).
There were very few bicycles until about 1908. Motor cars did not appear until the 1920s.
The first motor cars appeared on the main road in 1904, when the Gordon Bennett International Motor Race was ran and the competitors toured around Dublin after the race. German and French motor racers appeared in Swords in that year. An odd motor appeared a few years after this. Dartry Dye Works had a high noisy motor van which was the first commercial motor vehicle to come from Dublin. Later, O'Callaghan, gentry in Brackenstown, had a big towing car, also Cobbs of Donabate.
There was a special evening mail bag conveyed by a Malahide postman, which brought a mail bag in a pony and cart from Nalahide Station to Swords at 8.33 in the evening. He also brought the late Dublin evening papers. Commercial firms in Dublin sent goods to Swords by horse vans, and Guinness Brewery, D'Arcy's Brewery, Mountjoy Brewer-, and r'hoenix Brewery, sent stout, porter and ale to Swords by big special drays drawn by draft horses.
Agricultural produce was conveyed to Dublin Market in farm carts. Loads of hay started in the early hours of the morning, sometimes before Dawn, to reach the hay market in time. The Rush market gardeners came in a long string of ponies and drays through the town in the early hours of the morning. They halted for refreshments at the Big Tree, public house, at the North end of the town (Mark Taylors), who had an all night licence to cater for these cars.
On the return journey many of these farmers would be asleep in their drays, trusting the pony to take them home, who knew the road well. The local people used to wake them up before they passed the R.I.C. Barracks in Main Street, as they would be prosecuted for not being in proper control of their carts. There were no motor cars and no speed, so they were quite safe if they slept the whole time. When bicycles started to become plentiful, young people could make more frequent visits to Dublin, and do the journey in 140 minutes instead of the l hours by the car service.

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