Housing Discrimination

Documentary, Irish Language, Irish Culture, History
Directed by:
Department of Foreign Affairs
Produced by:
Department of Foreign Affairs


7 mins

Shot in 1953, this film highlighted housing discrimination practiced by the unionist-controlled council in the town of Fintona in County Tyrone.

It outlines the inequalities faced by the poorer, and usually nationalist, inhabitants, and details how new council houses are being given to unionist residents who are in less need of the houses than nationalists. It argues that the discrimination is motivated by the desire to maintain a majority of unionist voters in certain constituencies.

Housing Discrimination was produced by the Information Division of the Irish Department of External Affairs (now the Department of Foreign Affairs) and was allegedly partly shot using a hidden camera. In 1954 it was distributed in Britain by the Anti-Partition League, which prompted the Northern Ireland provincial government to complain to the British government, asking it to lodge a complaint with the Irish government. The film is interesting for a number of reasons; its originator (effectively the Irish government), its subject matter (housing discrimination in Northern Ireland), its argument (discrimination represents a conspiracy against the people of Ireland by a ruling group acting in concert with the British government) and its language (virulently Irish nationalist and anti-British).

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With kind permission of the Department of Foreign Affairs.