No Room at the Palace 1969

The story of Irish emigration to England spans decades and reasons vary from social to economic. As Buckingham Palace welcomes a delegation of over 300 people from the Irish community living in Britain, we take a look back  to 1969 when a series of programmes from 'Horizon: The Other Man's Grass' looked at the plight of the Irish in Britain.

Part 2 of this four-part Horizon special 'No Room at the Palace' broadcast on 26 March 1969 looks at the housing problems faced by the Irish emigrating to Britain.  

This excerpt from the programme visits the Irish Centre in London. which was opened in the 1950s by a group of priests and lay men. The centre acts primarily as a welfare centre, helping Irish people to find jobs and providing somewhere to live. 

The Irish Centre has a number of hostels where short term accommodation can be provided. The normal charge for a "boy" to stay at the hostel is four pounds a week, which includes meals. The charge for a "girl" is less. The hostel is used as a stop gap until the emigrants get used to living in the city of London.

The Irish Centre also acts as a social setting for the Irish community living in London and organises events to bring them together. This excerpt includes a group of men including a priest talking about the future of the Irish Centre and the plans for expansion.

One of the commentators features in this clip is Father Eamon Casey, director of the Catholic Housing Aid Society, who talks about the loneliness of life in London.

Irish Centre (1969)
Members of the Irish Community at the Irish Centre, 1969.

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