Ireland’s Census Collects Time Capsules to Be Opened in 100 Years


“People a hundred years from now will not only see the message, but the actual handwriting of the people who wrote it, which is such an intimate detail,” she said. “The next census in 2027 will be mostly online, but based on the response we’ve had this time, we definitely need to keep something similar going forward. We may be able to use new technologies to allow people to personalize it.”

Amy Dutil-Wall, a Michigan native who immigrated to Ireland 12 years ago, was one of many respondents who used her time capsule to remember loved ones who traveled or died on census night and not officially were counted. She also posted her capsule on Twitter:

“Tonight, as we count those in our home and family, we think so much of our beloved little girl, Estlin Luna. She was tragically taken from us in a car accident 5 years ago, just before her 4th birthday. Estlin was our first born child and the love of our lives. She was never counted in any census and 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 age. We were honored to be her parents and still honored to mourn her for the rest of our lives. Estlin Luna, we carry you in our hearts – love, Mom, Dad, Mannix & Lucie.”

Ms Dutil-Wall later said in an interview: “When filling out the part of the form naming the people in the house, it seemed so clear that Estlin should be there too, but she wasn’t. The time capsule let us say how much we loved and missed her, and it was great to have even this little thing for people to look back on in the future.”

Ms. Dutil-Wall’s post quickly garnered more than 40,000 likes. A woman in her 60s responded, saying her own first child was born out of wedlock, and was taken from her for adoptionwho broke her heart. They later found each other, she wrote, and loved each other dearly.

David Hayden, a father of two from Dublin, wrote: “2022 is a worrying time. Hopefully we have put Covid behind us but 2020 has cost my youngest sister Alison. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is our greatest concern. The prospect of a world war is very real.”

He hoped his daughters’ grandchildren would read the time capsule in “happier and more peaceful times… We don’t own this planet, we just take care of it for future generations, so take care of it!!!” PS Our children are laughing.”



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