Published 27.05.2024
by Kids’ Own

Liam Collins (8) Reporting from The Childhood Poverty and Well-Being Summit at Dublin Castle!

On the 23rd of May, Kids’ Own was attended the first Child Poverty and Wellbeing Summit at Dublin Castle!  We were delighted to have Kids’ Own Youth Advisory Group member Liam Collins, along with his mother Arlene and brother Luke, to represent Kids’ Own at this important event, together with CEO and Creative Director Ciara Gallagher. Some Kids’ Own artwork from our current TADA! exhibition was also displayed, alongside creative work by other groups of children and young people from around Ireland.

You can read Liam’s report on the day below!

Liam Collins (8) Reporting Live from The Childhood Poverty and Well-Being Summit at Dublin Castle

23rd May 2024

“It’s not everyday that an 8 (nearly 9) year old is invited to meet the Taoiseach so I was excited when Ciara from Kids’ Own called my Mum to see if I would be willing to go to Dublin Castle and represent them. I’ve been involved with Kids’ Own Youth Advisory Group for a couple of years, and I love it. We do so much creative stuff like drawing and building sculptures and we chat about important things like fairness for everyone and how all people are alike and different. It is really fun, and I’ve made some good friends, some from my school and some that I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for Kids’ Own.

When we arrived in Dublin after a long train journey, I was excited to stay in the hotel, outside we could see a huge church. Mum said it was Christchurch Cathedral and it was built in medieval times. All I know is that it was a little spooky and I heard the bells ringing all night long! In the morning, we got dressed up. Well, a little dressed up, not as smart as my Mum would have liked.  I thought it better to be myself and left the blazer she brought at the hotel! We walked down to Dublin Castle and met Ciara Gallagher who is the CEO of Kids’ Own. She introduced us to several people from the Office of the Taoiseach. To see the castle was exciting, we read some of the plaques about jewel thieves and spoke to Security who were waiting for the arrival of the Taoiseach and Gordon Brown who used to be Prime Minister of the UK. They warned us not to be near the arches as the would be driving in at “80km an hour!”

Jewel Thieves


We did have to wait a little while, but there were some toys left out for us, squishy balls and snakes. I do need to say sorry to the girls at the reception desk for getting them stuck on the roof and thank you to the nice and very tall Garda who retrieved them from the ceiling for us! Woops!

Shortly after the Taoiseach Simon Harris, Gordon Brown and Roderick O’Gorman arrived in fancy black Range Rovers driven by the Guards. I was a little nervous, but I stood with the other people (who were all at the very least teenagers!) and waited to meet them. It was lovely to see some of the artwork that was made by Kids’ Own on display. I was standing by one of pieces, it was as big as me and I think it caught Simon Harris’s eye because he came straight over to talk to me. I told him about school and Gordon Brown asked me about my birthday. Roderick O’Gorman who my Mum told me is the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth of Ireland asked me lots of questions about the Kids’ Own artwork. I told him it was from the TADA! exhibition and that I hadn’t worked on these pieces but really loved the group I was involved with. Ciara told him all about the books that Kids’ Own publish and he seemed very impressed.

After that the big meeting started, Mum explained that lots of charities and groups representing children were there to talk to the Government about what children in Ireland need. In a way it sounds a lot like what Kids’ Own talk to us about when we meet up on Saturday morning. Does that mean that I’m telling the Government what to do? 😊

Thank you Kids’ Own and Taoiseach Simon Harris for inviting me to come along. I hope the rest of the day went well and thank you for listening to younger people, we do have a lot to say!”


About the Child Poverty and Well-being Programme Office: this Office was established in Spring 2023 to make sure we prioritise children, particularly vulnerable children, and to make sure they get a real chance to realise their potential. The initial Programme Plan focuses on six areas that have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of children and families experiencing poverty. These six areas are: 1) income supports and joblessness 2) Early Learning and Childcare 3) Reducing the cost of Education 4) Family homelessness 5) Consolidating and integrating family and parental support, health and well-being 6) Enhancing participation in culture, art and sport for children and young people.

For more, please see the programme at the link below.