Soundwaves Festival Update August 2015

Right now, Skerries Soundwaves Festival is undoubtedly our busiest committee, as the festival itself is coming up in September! Gráinne Enright, chairperson of the committee, writes:

[The following was written in preparation for our Skerries Community Association AGM, which will take place on Friday 11 September 2015, 8 p.m., in the Little Theatre.]

Skerries Soundwaves Festival

LegoPosterSkerries Soundwaves is in its 12th year now, and continues to go from strength to strength. We had our Lego Family Fun Day in June, and great fun was had by all at the display area, the Lego build off, the Wheel of Fortune and the Schools Art Display.

Our 2015 festival kicks off on 17th September and continues until the 27th. Some events planned for this year include:

– An art trail with artwork displayed in 10-15 prominent locations around the town

– A schools programme, with artists and story tellers going into local schools

Soundwaves 2015 poster

– A large concert at the Mills, featuring the Walls, Darling, and The Fontaines

– A classical music night with choirs, strings, and more

Soundwaves Minecraft 2015– Our fourth Soundwaves Minecraft Project, with a week of online creativity followed by a Minecraft-themed wrap party on Sunday

– Our largest ever street party, with a bouncy castles, a youth orchestra, Mr. Toots the tourist train, Clap Handies, street games, the rock trailer, and more.

– A children’s opera: Hansel and Gretel

– Sunday’s Child Drama Company will put on their latest play

– An inclusive drumming workshop, now in its third year
– The annual fireworks display in the harbour

See  for our full programme.

Gráinne Enright, chair, Skerries Soundwaves Festival


Skerries Cycling Initiative June 2014 to August 2015

Skerries Cycling Initiative also reviewed the last year, getting ready for the Skerries Community Association AGM on Fri 11 September 2015. The chairperson, Ray Ryan, writes:

Our activities over the last year or so included:

SCI 2015 SCI at Rás 2015Bike repair and maintenance course.
Ten people attended the bike repair and maintenance course we organised at the Well Fit gym premises at  Skerries Shopping Centre over six mornings in May. It was initiated by Skerries Tidy Towns with funding  by Fingal County Council and the Department of the Environment under the Local Agenda 21 programme. Bike mechanic Paul Callan from The Rediscovery Centre, a social enterprise based in Ballymun, conducted the sessions. All participants enjoyed the course and now feel confident about tackling bike repairs.

The Rás End Stage street party and the fine weather gave SCI a great opportunity to talk to people about improving cycling infrastructure in and around Skerries. The need for a safer cycling route between Skerries and Balbriggan came up many times. People really want to see this happen soon.
We were delighted  that twenty eight  new subscribers signed up to our email Newsletter on the day. To receive it yourself, just send an email to

SCI 2015 fun cycleBike Week Fun Cycle. Our Midsummer Madness Fun Cycle on 21 June was a trip around the town and local housing estates exploring lesser known paths and laneways as well as Town Parks, the Ballast Pit path and Distributor road. We returned from Barnageera Cove via the coast road and finished with a picnic at The Seapole.


Submissions to FCC. During the last year we made submissions on 30 km/h in residential areas, cycling in Town Parks and the draft County Development Plan. We continue to press for the completion of the cycle track from Balbriggan to Skerries, and for greater awareness of the importance of cycling to a number of areas, including the development of tourism in Fingal.

Cycling on South Strand As a group working for better cycling facilities in Skerries we had mixed feelings about the proposal to ban cycling along the South Strand path. However we are convinced, having heard many accounts of accidents involving walkers and cyclists that the path is not suited to adult cycling given the potential for conflicts with other users. However, Fingal County Council accept that young children, properly supervised by a parent, may cycle on the path.

Ray Ryan, Chairperson, Skerries Cycling Initiative.

Skerries Town Twinning Association – A Review of the Last Year

As all our SCA Committees are preparing for the 2015 AGM (Fri 09 September 2015, 8 p.m., Little Theatre), they look back over the past year or so. Here is what Geraldine McQuillan of Skerries Town Twinning Association wrote:

IMG_6915We have had a busy time over the past twelve months.  Our big undertaking in 2014 was the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the Twinning Ceremony in Skerries in 1994.  The festivities took place in August and we welcomed 41 visitors from the Canton of Guichen for a four-day visit.  The emphasis was on our common Celtic Heritage and we tried to include a range of activities for them, including workshops in set-dancing, celtic embroidery and traditional music.  We had a lovely tour of Ardgillan Castle and Gardens and a guided walking tour of the town.  One of the fun items was a boules contest. To commemorate our original twinning events in 1994, we unveiled a plaque on Red Island to mark the anniversary.   A day long trip to Kilkenny city gave them a taste of another heritage town. IMG_6870

Alongside these events, we ran a separate programme of sports and cultural activities for the twelve children who were among the group.  It was an exhausting, but very enjoyable few days and we are most grateful to the many individuals and groups who lent their cooperation for the event.

twinning 01Earlier in the Spring 2014 we had organised an exchange of photographers.  Three Skerries photographers visited  the Canton of Guichen and in return, two photographers from Guichen came to Skerries. This led to a wonderful body of work entitled ‘Through Each Other’s Eyes,’  which we had the pleasure of exhibiting in Skerries Mills.

Guichen 2015 ceolWe had two projects this summer – a return trip to the Canton in July and our participation in an international youth camp held in Laillé in July.  We had almost 40 participants in the July trip, including a group of traditional musicians from Rush.  Apart from this, six teenage pupils from Skerries Community College travelled to France for a three-week camp, also in July.  Their project was to construct a shelter in the public skateboard playground in Laillé, one of the main towns in the Canton of Guichen. They worked with six local teenagers, sharing the work, meals and leisure time activities with their French counterparts. A good time was had by all.

Guichen 2015 mayor

David O’Connor, the Mayor of Fingal, in Guichen.


We’re always ready to welcome new initiatives. We have had approaches from the local badminton club in Laillé with a view to organising a visit to Skerries, so we will start to work on this soon.   If you have any ideas for joint projects with the Canton of Guichen, why not get in touch with us and we’ll see how we can progress them?

Geraldine McQuillan, Secretary, Skerries Town Twinning Association; contact: 

Guichen 2015 group picture

Skerries Tidy Towns Committee look back on the last year

In the run-up to the SCA AGM on Fri, 11 September 2015, all committees are reviewing the past year. Here is what Maeve McGann wrote about the work of the Tidy Towns Committee:

Another busy year for Skerries and we are eagerly awaiting the 2015 results of the National Tidy Towns Competition. These will be announced on 28th September.  Watch out for Nationwide on RTE that evening and hopefully you will spot Skerries.

In 2014 having won the County Award and a Gold Medal in the competition, we closed the gap on the overall winners. We are now only 4 points behind last year’s winner Kilkenny. So it really is nail biting time now.

Tidy Towns Awards 2014 01

At the Skerries Tidy Towns Awards, December 2014

Community involvement is an important element in achieving marks in the national competition.  The bird and bat nesting boxes made by Foróige and placed in appropriate locations by our local BirdWatch Ireland group, together with the multiple green flags obtained by the local schools, and the Adopt-a-Beach scheme, count in a big way.  Well done and many thanks to all.

Patch 2015 (4)The fifth year of Adopt-a-Patch was re-launched in March 2015, and there are now 50 patches adopted. We do have a few more looking for volunteers to adopt them so if you think you can help contact us through Facebook or speak to any member of the committee.

Our work programme runs from the end of January early February until September each year. We have regular work parties on a Monday morning meeting at 9.30 am in our store on Quay St – new faces always welcome.

Many thanks to all our volunteers and for all the support the Committee receives from residents and businesses in Skerries.

Maeve McGann, for Skerries Tidy Towns.


Skerries Community Centre – Update August 2015

Shay Fanning, Chair, Board of Management, Skerries Community Centre, writes:

The last two years have been very busy and rewarding years for Skerries Community Centre–during this time the Centre and the Old School have gone through a big transition. In the Centre, the ladies and gents showers and ladies and gents toilets have been completely refurbished. The heating in the centre and old school have been changed from oil to gas. Most of the windows in the Old School have been replaced with timber double glazed windows that are in keeping with the building’s appearance. The front and side of the Old School is getting a completely new coat of paint.

We are also in the process of getting a new logo for the Centre. We have planning permission for extra toilets in the Old School and we are just waiting to see if our grant application is successful.

The garden around the Old School has got a total overhaul, the flower beds in the car park are also getting a makeover, the next part is for the tree beds running parallel to the Dublin Road to get a facelift…

I would like to point out that all the painting and gardening improvements is thanks to the staff of the Centre, especially the CE workers, who are taking great pride in how the Centre looks. All staff of the Centre are now wearing uniforms, which makes them easy to identify.

bouncy castle community centre August 2015This year we purchased extra equipment for children’s activities, such as a bouncy castle, an inflatable 40-foot obstacle course, and ten bubble football outfits. These purchases have been very successful for our camps, which have been full all year. Our children’s parties are also getting very popular. (Contact the Centre at 01-849 0888 for information!) bubble football Community Centre 2015




Launch of Age Friendly Skerries Information Pack

On Tuesday 25th August, the Skerries Age Friendly Town Working Group launched an Information Pack for people over 65 years. Cllr David O’Connor, Mayor of Fingal launched the Booklet in the Skerries Harps GAA Club to an audience of more than 170 people. The Information pack was developed to address the information needs of older people in the town, in particular our most vulnerable older people. It not only provides vital details on emergency services but also provides information on clubs and leisure activities for older people and will be an asset for all.

It will be distributed to all of the established estates in the hope to reach will get most of the older people. The information pack is also going to be available in Skerries Library and in the Citizens Information Office, New Street, as well as at Reception in our Community Centre.

Click into the pictures to see them in full-screen mode; click on “close” to return to the blog post. Photographs by Brendan Sherlock and John Coleman.

Jane Landy, one of the Directors of Skerries Community Association and involved with the age-friendly project from the start, reminded the audience that of the aim of Skerries Community Association – to help to make a great town even better.

Jane continued: For many years we aspired to do more for older people in relation to this but the challenge of understanding exactly what to do and how to do it proved very daunting. We realised that whatever we did, we had to be part of something bigger. So when we learned that our old friend Eithne Mallin of Fingal County Council was looking for a town in Fingal to become “Age friendly”, we asked her if Skerries could come on board and she agreed. It is fantastic to hear of all the groundwork that has been done over the past two years since the initial research started. I am delighted to say that three of our directors Mary Conway, Brendan Sherlock and Nunce McAuley have been involved from the beginning.

On behalf of the SCA I want to congratulate everyone who has participated and say how delighted we are to work with Fingal County Council, the HSE and the Age Friendly Association on this important and innovative programme. We wish you the best of luck with it and look forward to realising our collective aspiration to make Skerries a great place in which to live, work and grow old. 
For more information on the Age Friendly Skerries initiative, see this page with information on the Age Friendly Skerries Committee as well as this collection of posts about it.

Fingal Tourism Strategy is vital for the Skerries Cycling Initiative

Ray Ryan, Chair, Skerries Cycling Initiative, writes:

Fingal County Council (FCC) has just published a Tourism Strategy for 2015-2018.

Crucially, their plan includes what they call The East Coast Greenway from Balbriggan to Howth. This Greenway proposal is vital for the Skerries Cycling Initiative as it matches closely our own cycling tourism concept : The Fingal Coast & Castle Way which links cycling along the coast from Balbriggan to Sutton with all our major parks and heritage sites such as Skerries Mills. We will be watching progress on this proposal closely and will do everything we can to get FCC to give us a cycleway of the appropriate quality. As the document shows, already tourists contribute half a billion euro to Fingal’s economy! Just imagine how much more that figure could be if we had a coastal cycleway with powerfully signposted and advertised links to Ardgillan, Skerries Mills, Rush Harbour, the Rogerstown Estuary, Newbridge House & Farm, the Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide Castle, Portmarnock Strand, Howth Head  etc!

Contact Skerries Cycling Initiative at