5 Things Only A Kid Failed By The State Can Relate To!


EVERYBODY has fond memories of their childhood, but some kids have experiences that are unique to them, and them alone! ‘Culchie kids’ have culchie memories, ‘city kids’ have city memories, and ‘kids failed utterly by the systems put in place by the state’ have kids failed utterly by the systems put in place by the state memories.

Here’s 5 things only kids that the Irish government let down can relate to!

1) Eating biscuits in the Garda station

There’s a lot of biscuits and sweets that we remember from our childhood that you can’t buy anymore, but none bring back the same nostalgia hit that a kid from a troubled home gets when he or she remembers eating Rich Tea biscuits in the local Garda Station, while their Mam or Dad were being questioned over domestic abuse charges. Handed to you by the ‘nice guard’, while the other guards wondered where you were going to stay that night, because you sure as fuck weren’t staying here.

2) Playing under the seats in the dole office while your Mam did one

What was your favourite game as a child? Hide & Seek? Tag? For kids failed by the state, it had to be the ‘under the seats in the dole office’ game, an incredibly absorbing activity that whiled away the time while your Mam was at the kiosk angrily begging for an explanation as to why she wasn’t entitled to one payment or another. “My child is hungry!” she’d yell, as you lay on the ground playing ‘dole floor’. Oh, the memories.

3) Getting pizza on the first night in a new Foster home

PIZZA! nothing is as nice as a pizza, particularly the pizza you got as a treat to welcome you into your latest foster home. You and all the other kids would sit around the table, with a slice of pizza… after eating nothing except crisps for four weeks straight because you were left alone with your junkie parents because you ‘slipped through the cracks’ again, that slice was pure heaven! As a bonus, you got it every few months when you got carted off to a new foster home after attempts to re-house you inevitably failed.

4) Being reminded just how useless you were

It’s not that the state constantly failed you as a child; that would suggest it tried to help you, and sometimes it didn’t even do that. If your parents weren’t around to tell you how useless you were, then you had teachers to fill in those gaps. Why couldn’t you keep up with the rest of the class? What, had you missed an extraordinary amount of school because of domestic problems? That’s not the teacher’s fault, that’s your fault! She has enough on her plate with the other 50 kids in the class. Keep up!

5) The sheer thrill of just lashing the fuck out

Nothing was as exhilarating for a child failed by the system as the first time you realised that anti-social behaviour was the perfect outlet for all the anger you felt inside and you just lashed out at everything around you. It was a rush that you’d never felt before! And when you went from being a child to being a teenager, you got to be upgraded right into the system with proper grown-ups, so it finally felt like you were succeeding at something, even if that was assault, or robbery. THE MEMORIES.