The 49th Dublin Scout Troop Swords, was founded by Alphie O’Dowd and a group of local parents on 6th May 1971.
First patrol was a group of 8 Boy Scouts. First investiture was 18th July 1971, with colours Gold with White border. Meetings were held in a little prefab hut in Seatown Park. By September, a second patrol had formed and from there the group continued to grow. Council meetings were held in people’s living rooms and finance meetings held in their cars.
After the hut was vandalised and burned down, they moved into the Youth Centre where they were joined by Joe Marsden and Donal O’Hannigan. Fundraising to pay the rent and buy equipment consisted of cake sales, coffee mornings, jumble sales etc.
The first Cub pack was formed in 1974 and the first Venturers by Bill James in 1976. By 1977 the Scout Group was bursting at the seams and with no room for Cubs coming up, an application was made to NHQ for a second Scout Troop. This was granted and given the number 136. More leaders were recruited and in September, Donal O’Hannigan took charge of the new Troop. In 1978 a second Cub pack was formed under Eamon Ennis. By this time, space was at a premium and a decision was taken to build a den which the Group could call home.
A dedicated committee of parents was formed under the Chairmanship of Leo Clarke and fundraising began in earnest. Following years of hard work and many ups and downs, the present den was built at a cost of £97,000 and was officially opened on 22nd September 1985 by the then Chief Scout Joe Lawlor assisted by the first Beaver Colony under John Mulligan.
In 1984, NHQ introduced Beavers to the Association – the youngest group, 7-9year olds, this coincided with the introduction of female youth members. The first co-ed Beaver colony was formed in February 1985. In 1986 a situation developed where there were large numbers of Cubs to move up and no room in the then all male Scout Group to accept them. A decision was taken to create a senior Scout Group for one year and eleven 14yr olds were moved into this group until they were old enough to go to Venturers. Kieran Barry, an experienced scouter came on board to lead them and stayed for about 15years. In the same year, under Michael Rogan the 136 Scout Troop officially became 3rd Flight Air Scouts. They continued to operate an active aviation programme for many years.
Over the years a number of improvements were carried out. In 2005, a new roof was added and in 2007 all windows were replaced. Then in 2009 it was back to major construction when an extension was built providing storage and making way for a new kitchen and meeting room at a cost of €35,000. Now the last stage of the refurbishment is under way with new bathrooms being installed, front hall tiled and the heating system being upgraded, all at a cost of €30,000. We hope that this will make the building much more user friendly into the future.
From its inception, 49th Swords was an outdoor active unit. The first Scout camp was held in Lough Keel, Co. Roscommon and they have never missed an Annual Camp since then – a period of 45 years. The group has also been actively involved at Local, County and National level over the years and have been represented at many National and International events ie. Melvins, Jamborees, Explorer Belts, Ventacts, Mountain Persuit Challenges, National PL Forums, County Challenges, Water Activities to name but a few.
In more recent years, since Cubs and Beavers have been allowed camp, all sections run an age appropriate outdoor active programme. This is dependant on the required Leader to Child ratio and we are always anxious to recruit new Leaders. All Leaders are voluntary and training is provided.