In 1810 the Protestant church was built and its tower was the result of a donation by the Brabazon Family. A modest Catholic church, known at the time as the Barn Chapel, due to its thatched roof, was built on Brabazon-owned land and leased to the Catholic Diocese. A more substantial and prominent church was built in 1891 which, in 1953 was adorned with stained glass windows crafted in the Harry Clarke Studios. The windows were gifted by two local sisters at a cost of roughly five years’ wages of a labourer.
Swinford was hit hard by the Famine of 1846 and the Workhouse opened at the height of its depridation. Within a year the mortality rate was so high that staff were unable to bury the dead quickly enough in the paupers’ graveyard and some 564 bodies were buried in a mass grave at the rear of the Workhouse. The front of the workhouse building remains extant today and serves as the facade of The Willows, a mental health facility.
One of the largest summer festivals in Mayo fills the town with music in the first week of August. Known as Siamsa Sraide (Fun in the Streets) it is a festival of music, culture and pageantry, with all kinds of music, from open air irish big bands to traditional Irish, folk and rock and an international busking competition. There is a Crossroads Céilí on a wooden platform, poetry, historic walks, and street performances. Add to that a mixture of stalls and food and you have one long celebration of culture and heritage. Sporting events and children’s entertainment also add to teh festivities. One of the days is devoted to celebrating heritage day called "Beal Atha na Muice, Fado Fado", where the town goes vintage, altering shop fronts to look as they might have at the turn of the 20th century. There are even vintage cars to add to the authenticity.
Being on the Moy tributary, Swinford benefits form some superb fishing. Surrounding lakes (Callow, Conn and Cullin) provide good stores of brown trout. The 9-hole golf course is in the beautiful setting of Brabazon Park. Other outdoor activities include ome lovely nature walks as well and pony trekking.