Why a Museum of Childhood?

Rights March. Senator Alice-Mary Higgins as a young child, with her mother Sabina.

Why is the project for a permanently-homed Museum of Childhood Ireland so important?

“There is no simple or singular version of childhood in Ireland or anywhere.  One of the reasons myself, Colette Kelleher and others in my Seanad Civil Engagement Group proposed a Bill to promote Traveller History and Culture in Education is because we wanted all children to have an understanding of the diversity that makes up our national fabric. Children’s experiences are different, their circumstances and perspectives are different and what makes a community is when we can share and learn from each others stories. That’s why a project like the Museum of Childhood is so important  and needs a permanent home. By gathering stories and images together in one place it offers insights into the diverse experiences of what it was and is to be a child alive in an ever-changing Ireland and world. It is important to remember also that children may themselves help make that change! I am including below a picture of myself on a march at a very young age and some of the most thoughtful and strong activists I work with as a Senator are the young people demanding climate action. Listening to childhood experience and children’s voices can deepen understanding and I hope, solidarity. As a legislator, I draw on such solidarity when pressing for better social policies, including ones to respect and protect the rights of the child – a key priority for the Museum and its wonderful volunteers. As many children across Ireland navigate new challenges in these strange times, we must remember that their stories matter.”

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins.