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North Street Swords Dublin - History

A History Of Swords Co. Dublin - The Village Pump

Next to the Court House was a nice two storey house with orchard behind, which was usually rented to Policemen. Beside this house was the only semblance of a Town Hall in the town. It was a long one storey building in a rather decayed condition, with its gable end to the street and a green paddock on one side. It originally was a workshop and forge for a coach builder and when this business closed it was used at first for football club meetings and local elections, committee meetings, etc.
It was then renovated a bit and the local football club used to entertain visiting teams there with a half barrel or barrel of porter which was the recognised way of treating the visitors and the local team.
When the Gaelic League started, they had no classrooms, so they held them in the old forge and did some repairs to floors, lighting, etc., to make it presentable and after this Ceilidhes were regularly held there and the porter was banned. The local Brass Band also used it as a practising room. Later when the Earnegie Library was built, these entertainments were transferred there.[ This building is empty today and it's last use was a bookies owned by Bobby Savage]
Next to the old forge there was a good cut stone house and out offices once occupied by a Protestant Leader called Cloney. He had a hardware business. When he died, Mrs. Smylie'.s Birds Nest started an orphanage or boarding school for Protestant boys.

At the corner of Seatown Lane was the town pump or Ryan's pump, and next to the pump was Ryan's Forge, where old Mrs. Ryan's stalwart sons rang the anvil as we passed to school and we marvelled at the moulding of the red hot iron into horseshoes, cartwheel rims, etc. A few beggars or tramps were sometimes given the privelege of squatting near the forge fire during the winter.
There was always a great ice slide at Ryan's pump in winter, much to the danger of horses coming to drink at the drinking trough under the pump. Hot ashes from the forge often spoiled our slide. Mary Ryan had a small sweet shop next to the forge and at the corner of Seatown Lane (also School Lane).
Next to Ryan's was the Court House, a square solid building in cut stone. Only petty sessions were held here, and we never had a big trial by Judges.

Town Hall Where The Bands Met
North Street School

Band Hall Swords

North Street School Swords

There were about 40 boys in it. Below this was a neat row of brick and stone cottages, let to tenants and one two storey house which was once the Post Office. Next to these were two nicely designed teachers' residences of the usual type. Red brick and stone and the entrance to the Girls', schools was beside these houses.
Beyond this entrance was a family named Connor, for many generations coach builders in the town. Two of the daughters were teachers and the old widow kept a sweet shop for the use of the girls in school playground adjoining.
Below this were a row of delapidated one storey cottages although they were slated. Below this row of cottages was a picturesque two storey
• thatched cottage with dormer windows in the thatch. This was McCloud's public house. Nothing exciting ever happened in this pub. Then there was a stone wall for about 100 yds. and then a Gothic looking brick and stone house with pointed windows which may have been meant for a Protestant Sect Meeting house, but was occupied by another coach builder named Connor, a relation of the widow's family, at the school yard.
They had a big workshop and outbuildings at the back and a field for training in young horses. This was the last house on this east side.
Roadside Pump Swords Dublin
The Village Pump

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