Some were funny, some were angry, some were downright heartbreaking and all were written in the same blank space on the Irish census form, a ‘time capsule’ section.
In what Ireland’s Central Statistics Office considers a world first, the official census has left a blank space for people to leave messages for future generations. The voluntary section of the 27-page form is due to be made public in 100 years, but many people shared their posts on social media.
“€6.80 for a pint of Heineken the other night. Hope it got better,” one said. Another wrote down lottery numbers and a request for posterity to check if he had ever won. Áine Flynn printed the paw prints of her dog Darcy, a Maltese cross shih tzu.
Niamh Ní Charra wrote a piece of music.
Others drew caricatures. A man claimed to have written an invisible message in lemon juice, along with a challenge: “Let’s see if they’re as smart, in 100 years, as they think they are.”
Some asked questions. “Have they already started building the Dublin Underground? Others seized the opportunity to attack the ruling parties in Ireland. “I hope that in 100 years you won’t all be voting for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil. If you are, you are all gobshites.
Other messages spoke of suffering and grief. A mother who sacrificed her career to care for a disabled son hoped disability services would be better a century from now.
Amy Wall, 38, struck a chord with a tribute to a girl killed in a car accident five years ago, just before her fourth birthday. “Estlin was our first child and the love of our lives. She was never counted in a census so we are so relieved to be able to mention her here. She was beautiful, creative, funny, so smart and smart and confident beyond her years. We were honored to be her parents and still honored to mourn her for the rest of our lives,” Wall wrote.
Wall’s tweet about the post has been liked and retweeted over 40,000 times. “It just blew my mind how it connected with people,” she said Wednesday. “I have received comments from the UK, Canada and Australia wanting their own census to provide this opportunity.”