History Posts

  • ‘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 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 … Read more
  • Charles Cameron’s bags of flies
    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 … Read more
  • Holiday Souvenir Dolls and Their Place in Tourism
    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 … Read more
  • Beatlemania, Mods and Hysterical Teenagers – Irish Style
    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 … Read more
  • ­­­­Heritage Week 2022: Suggestions for Objects for the Museum of Childhood Ireland
    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 … Read more
  • The early years of uniformed youth groups in Ireland, 1888-1930
    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 … Read more
  • A Youthful Revolution?
    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 … Read more
  • Baby’s First Clothes – Clothing New-born Infants in Rural Ireland in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries
    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 … Read more
  • Children’s Clothing in Modern Ireland
    By Mary Hatfield (hatfielm@tcd.ie) 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 … Read more
  • Photography and Irish Children: A Window into Childhood Fashion
    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 … Read more
  • A Brief Reflection on Researching Children and Postwar Humanitarianism
    By Lorraine McEvoy If you ever find yourself wandering around the southwestern corner of St Stephen’s Green, you are likely to stumble upon a statue called the Three Fates. Unveiled in 1956, it was a gift of gratitude from West Germany to the Irish people for humanitarian aid they provided after the Second World War. … Read more
  • Heritage Week 2021. Heritage Council County Award Winner
    For Heritage week 2021 we presented a series of videos on the history of children from medieval times to the eighteenth century. They are available on the MoCI Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx8bymLYkYRJ0tqCNxCx5cg Presenters The presentations explore what these places, buildings and objects can tell us about childhood in Ireland in the medieval and early modern period.  … Read more
  • Researching the History of Children and Childhood in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century Ireland
    By Mary O’Dowd Writing the history of children and childhood in Ireland before the eighteenth century is a challenging task.  Historical records which refer to children are scarce and those that do survive tell us more about adults’ perception of childhood than the lived experience of children.  Irish children’s voices are hard to find before … Read more
  • History of Children and Childhood, 1500-1700
    By Mary O’Dowd Childbirth and Infant Care Touching child-bearing, women within two hours after they are delivered many times leave their beds to go fop and drink with women coming to visit them; and in our experience a soldier’s wife delivered in the camp did the same day, and within a few hours after her … Read more
  • History of Children and Childhood, 1700-1800
    By Mary O’Dowd There were important changes in attitudes to children in the eighteenth century. Throughout western Europe and colonial America, there was a new interest in the education and formation of children. Philosophers and writers such as Jean Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft and many others wrote about the rearing and education of children. There … Read more
  • Memories of a Cork Jewish Childhood
    Ruti Lachs. https://www.rutilachs.ie/memories-of-a-cork-jewish-childhood.html Memories of a Cork Jewish Childhood, a short video produced by Ruti Lachs, includes stories and memories from Jewish people around the world who grew up in Cork city, interspersed with photographs and music from Jewish Cork past and present. The film was Runner-Up for a National Heritage Day Award in 2021. … Read more
  • Growing Up in Late 20th Century Ireland
    [photo courtesy of Museum of Childhood Ireland] Date And Time Thursday, Dec 10, 2020, 7:00 PM GMT Location Online Event Event description What can we learn about growing up in Ireland from the Dublin One City One Book for 2020, Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey? Join us for an online panel discussion of how this … Read more