From Spice Girls to The Den: An ode to growing up in '90s Ireland

A poem dedicated to the wonder and joy of growing up in Ireland during the 1990s, by a nineties kid who just can't seem to leave the era behind.


Growing up in the nineties in Ireland;

An experience so bizarre, yet so pure

A time of simple joys and baseline expectations,

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It was looong before we learned how to contour.

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When no one had ever heard of a vegan

And vegetarians still had people amazed

It was certainly far from quinoa and kale

That us 90’s girls and boys were raised.

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Dinner in the 90’s was pretty basic

You had meat, garden veg, and lots of beige

Pasta carbonara was as exotic as it got

And Darina Allen was all the rage.

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With dessert we had more luck, thank God

HB ice cream and penny sweets stand out for sure

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Paired with a 3L bottle of TK red lemonade,

And a nibble of your candy necklace, so demure.

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Cereals were next level in the 1990s

A culinary delight we ate and ate

But deciding who would get the toy inside the box?

My god, the fights it would generate.

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The real pride and joy of that decade, though

Without a doubt, it has to be

Something every nineties kid recalls with a smile...

It was the offering on TV.

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Midweek we had The Den and The Morbegs,

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And Top of The Pops to start the weekend right

While Saturday’s were spent with Blind Date and Gladiators

And who could forget Glenroe on a Sunday night?

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Special mention goes to the Saturday morning shows

Ant & Dec, Cat Deely and their fun-loving crew

And Art Attack Guy shouting “Here’s one I made earlier!!”

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Oh, the things he could create with PVA glue...

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Now a moment for the toys of the nineties

The stickers and Pogs we collected with such zeal

Remember trying to keep your Tamagotchis alive?

Christ almighty, the struggle was real.

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We didn’t have the internet growing up, you see

We relied on other weird delights to survive

Remember Furbies and conkers and Millennium Babies?

(And the devastation when they never came alive…)

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What about the iconic 1990’s style?

And the many fashion crimes we committed

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Between the jelly sandals, bum bags and O’Neills tracksuit bottoms

We were cute, but alas, not well-outfitted.

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When it came to hair, the middle parting was king

With two front bits slicked down either side

Then arrived Sun-In (a product with very mixed results)

And suddenly our hair looked more dead than dyed.

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On our walls you’d find B*Witched and David Beckham

With lava lamps and troll dolls by our bed

Our inflatable chairs would be left by the door

Whilst our dream catchers swayed overhead.

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Popbands were BIG in the nineties

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In every home you’d hear East 17 sung in the shower

But the biggest and best were the Spice Girls, of course

With their high kicks and calls for “GIRL POWAHHH!”

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We were a generation who went to mass every week

Who wore bin bags as Halloween costumes every year

“Who left the immersion on?!” is a question we’ll never forget

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And how it brought about such panic, such fear...

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Flying somewhere sunny was still a novelty back then

And we’d get our hair in cornrows as soon as we’d arrive

Because there was nothing like a bitta’ cultural appropriation

To make us nineties kids feel alive.

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So here’s to growing up in nineties Ireland

and the innocent, simpler times it represented

From bland food, bad hair and trippy tv shows,

To the internet dial-up tone driving us demented.

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Because for all we complain

And for all we jest

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When it all comes down to it,

The nineties really were the best.


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