Launch of 'Seen But Not Heard- A Century Of Childhood In Ireland’

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Thu May 01 2008

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr. Brendan Smith T.D., will this evening launch a national travelling exhibition celebrating childhood in Ireland over the 20th Century, at Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan.

Hosted by the Local Authority Museums’ Network (LAMN), ‘Seen But Not Heard (Feictear Ach Ní Cloistear) - A Century Of Childhood In Ireland’ celebrates some of the many lifestyle changes as experienced by successive generations of children growing up in Ireland. Themes covered include education, health, work, play and memories.

A series of workshops and activities has been built around the exhibition to provide children with a unique opportunity to glimpse the childhood that their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents experienced.

This is the first national exhibition to be commissioned by the LAMN, which consists of the 13 Local Authority Museums based in Cavan, Carlow, South Tipperary, Cork, Louth, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Mayo, Monaghan and Waterford. The exhibition will travel to each County Museum over the course of the next three years beginning with Cavan.

"The topic of childhood is an area with which everyone is familiar", stated Mr. Brian Walsh, LAMN Chairman.

He continued, "Over the last 30 years we have seen unparalleled changes in Ireland and this is best illustrated in the lives of children. For instance, the changed economic need for children to work may not now be of necessity but rather for social purposes, while the nature and manner of many of the presents that children now receive are a far cry from those of previous generations. The once popular Christmas present of an apple or orange has now been succeeded by perhaps a laptop and mobile phone."

Mr. Walsh noted that the manner of the exhibition highlights these dramatic changes.

"One of the strengths of the exhibition is the use of strong photographic images and reminiscences collected by the local authority Museums. The interplay of memories and images capture the changing nature of childhood in a manner that is immediate and personal, and one that contributes to a moving experience", he stated.

Dominic Egan, Curator, Cavan County Museum, explained that the exhibition is certain to recall a moment in everyone’s childhood.

He continued, "Anyone who attends the exhibition is likely to be reminded of their own childhoods, whether it be that fleeting memory of a school day long forgotten, playing games on newly mown grass, the reverential hush of a Sunday mass. The vivid thoughts and memories that are evoked through this truly interactive exhibition will also enable people from outside Ireland to learn about the many varied aspects of growing up on this island over the last century."

"We have also developed a series of educational packs aimed at students to help them learn more about live as a child all those years ago in a fun and informative way. Children of all ages can enjoy the interactive games and activities, which will be incorporated into the exhibits", concluded Mr. Egan.

The exhibition, which has received sponsorship from The Heritage Council and The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, will travel to each LAMN member over the course of the next three years beginning with Cavan, before moving on to Kerry during the summer, and then Letterkenny, Clonmel, Monaghan and Dundalk with further dates and venues to be confirmed.

Further information on the exhibition and the Local Authority Museums involved is available from or Dominic Egan, Curator, Cavan County Museum at 049-8544070.


Note to Editor:
- Mr. Brian Walsh and Mr. Dominic Egan are available for interview. To arrange please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or
- High-resolution images from the exhibition are available on request
- About the LAMN - The Local Authority Museums Network consists of the 13 museums around the Republic of Ireland, which are funded by local authorities. Each museum is represented on this network by its Curator. These 13 people meet throughout the year to discuss how best to promote and protect the cultural heritage and historical richness of their regions. It was through the collaboration of this network together with funding received from The Heritage Council and The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism that this exhibition was made possible

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
00353-868534900 (mobile)
00353-656839692 (fax)
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 00353868534900

Visit website »