Ger Murphy’s Irish Dancing Costume 1970s

This is the Irish dancing costume that I wore when I was six years old in Ballyfermot, Dublin, over 60 years ago. 

I wanted so badly to be an Irish dancer and tormented my poor mother for a dress, as all the other girls in the local Irish Dancing class had one. 

My mother could not afford a new dress so she bought mine second-hand from a woman she knew locally. 

When I joined the dancing class I learned very quickly that there were favourites, and so unfortunately I never got a look in. Perhaps it was because all the items of my costume from dress to shoes were cast-offs?

I only lasted in the school for a few weeks and left feeling very dejected indeed.

It taught me a good lesson though, and I carried that with me all my life.

I’m delighted to donate my dress in 2024 to the Museum of Childhood Ireland Músaem Óige na hÉireann with the hope that it makes adults with responsibility for, or working with children pause, even if just for just a moment, to consider the impact of their actions on the children. 

Ger Murphy.