Taoiseach for a Day
Here at Barnardos we spend the majority of our time supporting children to achieve their potential. Too often this has been denied because of political choices made by the Government, creating barriers for children and perpetuating disadvantage.
So we thought we’d turn the tables and ask the children and young people with whom we work what they would do if they were Taoiseach for the day…
As you’ll see, we can all learn from the wisdom and insight of our young people – and the Government would do well to listen to their recommendations!
- Five-year-old Dylan from Clonmel said if he was Taoiseach for a day he would deliver ‘more books or better books for children to read in schools,’ and, heartbreakingly, ‘a light and curtains in every child’s room’.
- A 13-year-old from north Dublin said, ‘Monitor bullying in schools better to prevent it from happening.’
- Ten-year-old Craig from Limerick said he would call for ‘More respect between teachers and students.’
- Eve, 10, from Clonmel said, ‘Free buses and transport for everyone and it would be better.’
- A four-year-old from Tallaght said she would ‘invent stuff like food machines to make sure there is enough food’ if she was Taoiseach.
- Torie, aged nine and from Tallaght, said; ‘People are homeless and dying on the streets, they need more money and a home.’
15, from Tallaght, put it succinctly ‘I would give the same opportunities to
everyone, as everyone has the right to the same thing.’
- 'Get more Library’s, no homework, music programs, give water melon to all kids', Kiera age 10
- 'Give everyone places to sleep and to stay, and give them food and drink, give them a roof over their head, build clubs for them', Roisin age 11
- 'I would feed all the poor kids, and I would take them in', Leah age 9
- 'I would give children new toys and the poor children food and drinks and money and homes and toys', Sonia Age 9
- 'I would put on a big circus', Morgan Age 9
- 'Everyone would have something to eat and a house', Lee Age 8
Saoirse, age 9, called for;
- 'More animals at the zoo'
- 'Bigger community centres'
- 'Every child should have a house, toys and food'
Eve, age 10, from Clonmel wanted;
- 'More activities for children locally e.g. waterpark'
- 'Every school would get a play area'
- 'Every school would have clean new tables and chairs'
- 'Free buses and transport for everyone and it would be better'
Children in Mahon also gave some inspired answers;
- 'Make mom’s birthday more of a birthday rather than just having apple crumble.' Jack aged 9 ¾
- 'Help some of the poor.' Helen aged 8
- 'Take from the rich and give to the needy.' Liam aged 12.
- 'Build some more Barnardos places because they might be too far away for kids cos like, they can help if say someone you know has died or your parent’s are having a divorce or something.' Jack aged 9¾
Children in Dublin were asked what important things they would do if they were boss of the world.
Torie, aged 9, responded;
- 'I would give the children more parks/ I would make people build more astro parks.'
- 'I would give homeless people a house.'
- 'I would make more houses.'
- 'People are homeless and dying on the streets, they need more money and a home.'
- 'Do more sports in schools.'
- 'There should be more cooking lessons in primary schools.'
- 'Provide healthcare until you’re 18.'
Chloe, aged 13, wanted to;
- 'Stop water charges'
- 'Save the world'
- 'Have everything free'
- Have 'No school'
- 'Stop slyness and robberies'
- 'Make kids equal'
- 'Change the homeless'
When asked the same question 11-13 year olds in Mulhuddart said they would;
- 'Give kids in care a family’’.
- 'Stop people selling drugs and cigarettes to teenagers.'
- 'Monitor bullying in schools better to prevent it from happening.'
- 'Give homeless people a home because there are lots of abandoned houses around the place’.'
- 'Fine people before the courts if there are signs of racism.'
- 'Stop the anti-social behaviour in town and have more police around the place.'