The Iveagh Trust: How Ireland’s Richest Man Housed Dublin’s Poor

Documentary on Newstalk

11-12-2023 • 46 minutos

Documentary on Newstalk presents “The Iveagh Trust: How Ireland’s Richest Man Housed Dublin’s Poor”, in which producer Sarah Stacey explores the 133-year history of Ireland’s oldest housing charity.

The Iveagh Trust was founded in 1890 by Edward Cecil Guinness, head of his family’s famous brewing empire, who at the time was the richest man in the country. His vision was to provide safe, clean and affordable housing to the working poor of Dublin. In the nineteenth century the city was home to some of the worst slums in Europe, with families crammed into overcrowded and unsanitary tenements. Disturbed by the conditions he saw in The Liberties, where his brewery was based, Guinness invested a considerable amount of his fortune into building housing and communities in the area.

Sarah Stacey’s family connection to the Iveagh Trust goes back four generations. With the help of social historians, staff members and residents, including her own relatives, she looks at how one man’s generosity transformed the lives of thousands of Dublin families, and why the Iveagh Trust’s ongoing work is just as important in today’s housing crisis as it was over a century ago.

Contributors include Tracey Bardon, engagement co-ordinator at 14 Henrietta Street (the Tenement Museum), historians Cathy Scuffil and Alan Byrne, Rory Guinness, chairman of the Iveagh Trust and great-great-grandson of Edward Cecil Guinness, former Iveagh Trust community officer Kelley Bermingham, and past and present residents Paul Tester, Pat Stacey and Tina Brennan.

“The Iveagh Trust: How Ireland’s Richest Man Housed Dublin’s Poor” was produced and presented by Sarah Stacey, with additional production by Daniel Cahill and music composed by Emily Worrall. Special thanks to the Iveagh Trust and Dublin City Library and Archive. Funded by Coimisiún na Meán with the Television Licence Fee.