Free Derry Corner in Northern Ireland
Derry City lies near the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It has a majority nationalist population, and nationalists won a majority of seats in the 1920 local elections. Despite this, the Ulster Unionist Party controlled the local council, Londonderry Corporation, from 1923 onwards.The Unionists maintained their majority, firstly, by manipulating the constituency boundaries (gerrymandering) so that the South Ward, with a nationalist majority, returned eight councillors while the much smaller North Ward and Waterside Ward, with unionist majorities, returned twelve councillors between them; secondly, by allowing only ratepayers to vote in local elections, rather than one man, one vote, so that a higher number of nationalists, who did not own homes, were disenfranchised; and thirdly, by denying houses to nationalists outside the South Ward constituency. The result was that there were about 2,000 nationalist families, and practically no unionists, on the housing waiting list, and that housing in the nationalist area was crowded and of a very poor condition.The South Ward comprised the Bogside, Brandywell, Creggan, Bishop Street and Foyle Road, and it was this area that would become Free Derry.