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Future Proof

9 things every Irish kid wanted to be when they grew up

Growing up, growing up to be…

THERE’S A CERTAIN vintage of Irish person who wanted to be one or all of these things at some stage in their childhoods.

From the lofty heights of the Olympics to the fascinating lure of the production line to what lay beyond the Magic Door…

1. Dublin Zookeeper

According to the Magic Door on Bosco the zookeepers at Dublin Zoo got to wear caps, hang around petting leopards and elephants all day, chatting to Bosco.

bosco-6-2 Thejournal Thejournal

Elephant keeper Ken Mackey & Judy the Indian Elephant PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

2. Ray Houghton


In truth, you wanted to be any member of the Irish soccer squad between 1988 and 1994. However Ray was at the top of the pile after that goal in Stuttgart.


Stuttgart Soccer European Championships Peter Kemp Peter Kemp

Paul McGrath and Denis Irwin were a close second and third.

3. Coca Cola factory worker

If a place was important enough to go to on a school tour, surely it was worth wanting to work there.

Also, as a bonus you probably got as much free Coke as you wanted, and as many spins on the double decker Coca Cola bus. And imagine being the guy who got to say “give that man a can of coke”. The dream.

Coca Cola plants Job Losses Graham Hughes / Photocall Ireland! Graham Hughes / Photocall Ireland! / Photocall Ireland!

4. Any Bosco factory worker

When they weren’t going behind the Magic Door to the zoo, they were going to exciting looking factories; often the Ringsend bottling plant.


Other acceptable factories to work in:

  • Chocolate factories
  • Biscuit factories
  • Sweet factories

5. Archaeologist

Inspired by Indiana  Jones/Jurassic Park, the lines between geologist, palaeontologist and archaeologist were blurred into one superhero bone-digger-upper.

Practicing in your mother’s flower beds was usually frowned upon.

tumblr_lku5k270ot1qi9q4ko1_500 Tumblr Tumblr

6. Artist

All you wanted to do was draw owls as well as Don Conroy drew owls.

cartoon-fun Thejournal Thejournal

7. Sonia O’Sullivan

How many of you decided that going to the Olympics was a viable career path, inspired by Sonia?

Athletics - Gothenburg EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

8. Librarian

You mean to tell us we can swan around reading The Famous Five and The Shamrogues all day, occasionally using the fun stamps and ticket drawers? SIGN US UP?

library-pockets Erinzam Erinzam

(Of course, years later, when you found out you needed quite specific third level qualifications to be a librarian, things looked a little different)

9. Astronaut

If it wasn’t for all that pesky maths and science getting in the way we could all be Chris Hadfield.

61353-My-favorite-space-gif--Imgur-pPvN Pandawhale Pandawhale

The rites of passage every Irish person must go through>

Guy shaves off beard for Granny’s 100th birthday>

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