By Megan McAuley ‘I recall the hiring fair in Letterkenny, when the small farmers’ sons and daughters were forced to offer themselves for auction to the ranchers in the Lagan Valley. They stood on the footpaths, had their muscles examined by the big farmers, and eventually were hired to them for a few paltry pounds… Continue reading ‘A sadder sight it would be impossible to witness’: Criticism of the hiring fair and child labour in County Donegal in the early twentieth century.
By Ida Milne Sometimes, in the tedium of trawling through dry-as-dust official reports, we historians have a discovery that initially seems little more than an amusing distraction, but later casts a bright light on our topic. In 2016, while reading the 1911 annual reports of Dublin’s long-serving Medical Officer of Health Sir Charles Cameron in… Continue reading Charles Cameron’s bags of flies
By Kayla D’Amato When considering the holiday souvenir dolls collected for many years by Ellen Worrall (now in the ownership of MoCI) See: questions begin to appear such as are they authentic? Do they represent stereotypes? Or are they accurate depictions of the imagery of the country in which they came from? To answer such… Continue reading Holiday Souvenir Dolls and Their Place in Tourism
By Ciara Molloy On 7 November 1963, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr performed two shows in the Adelphi Cinema on Middle Abbey Street to more than 5,000 Irish fans.[i] Mobs of ‘screaming teenage girls’ had greeted previous Beatles’ appearances in Leicester,[ii] and in anticipation of similar incidents in Dublin, Operation Beatles was… Continue reading Beatlemania, Mods and Hysterical Teenagers – Irish Style
For Heritage Week 2022 the Museum of Childhood Ireland is asking members of the public to make suggestions of objects that they would like to see in the Museum. Do you have an object that that tells a story about the history of children and childhood in Ireland? Or can you think of an item… Continue reading Heritage Week 2022: Suggestions for Objects for the Museum of Childhood Ireland
By Marnie Hay Were you ever a Cub Scout or a Girl Guide – or a member of any other youth group that required you to wear a uniform of some sort? Did you play games and learn new skills at weekly meetings, get to know kids from other schools, and enjoy (or dread) the… Continue reading The early years of uniformed youth groups in Ireland, 1888-1930
By Sarah-Anne Buckley One of the most well-worn phrases in recent years has been the 1916 Proclamation’s reference to “cherishing all of the children of the nation equally”. The line was intended to refer to all citizens not just children, but it highlights the symbolic significance of childhood and the role children and younger people… Continue reading A Youthful Revolution?
By Anne O’Dowd In 1940 the Irish Folklore Commission circulated a questionnaire – Old time Irish country dress – to schoolteachers in primary schools in the 26 counties of Ireland. It was devised to collect facts and traditions relating to clothing in a rural context regarding those with very little disposable income and who made… Continue reading Baby’s First Clothes – Clothing New-born Infants in Rural Ireland in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries
By Mary Hatfield (email@example.com) One of the many sources that historians of childhood use to gain insight into childhood in the past is clothing. How children were dressed, and what was considered fashionable for children manifest something of the cultural ideas and values of a particular historical moment. For example, in contemporary culture we distinguish… Continue reading Children’s Clothing in Modern Ireland
By Mary Hatfield (Hatfielm@tcd.ie) Photographs provide a rich and detailed source for exploring children’s lives and their place and role in Irish society. Even a brief glance through historic photograph collections indicates the many ways Irish childhood was constructed and experienced across different periods, classes, and localities. Since the invention of photography in the mid-nineteenth… Continue reading Photography and Irish Children: A Window into Childhood Fashion