The fact that Irish vividly "remember" NINA signs is a curious historical puzzle. There are no contemporary or retrospective accounts of a specific sign at a specific location. No particular business enterprise is named as a culprit. No historian, archivist, or museum curator has ever located one; no photograph or drawing exists. No other ethnic group complained about being singled out by comparable signs. Only Irish Catholics have reported seeing the sign in America—no Protestant, no Jew, no non-Irish Catholic has reported seeing one. This is especially strange since signs were primarily directed toward these others: the signs said that employment was available here and invited Yankees, French-Canadians, Italians and any other non-Irish to come inside and apply. The business literature, both published and unpublished, never mentions NINA or any policy remotely like it. The newspapers and magazines are silent. The courts are silent. There is no record of an angry youth tossing a brick through the window that held such a sign. Have we not discovered all of the signs of an urban legend?
As every Brit liberal knows, the streets of 1950s London were full of 'No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish' signs. Yet on the Web there's only one photo which looks as if it could be authentic - source unknown to me - and in an admittedly cursory trawl of the web I've not found any contemporary reports of them - just hundreds of "are we returning to the days of" blog posts and dozens of "my father came to London at a time when" pieces. You really would think that it might turn up in Hansard - I must take a look. Maybe it's yet another liberal myth aka libel against the native Brits. Not that there aren't similar signs to be seen in London to this day - only strangely, no one makes a fuss about them. Can't imagine why.
(cropped photo from ruskin51's photostream)
Now I've got no real problems with an Asian family wishing to share their house with people of their own culture or ethnicity - or even rent it. You want as tenants/lodgers people you can trust, and as the late Emperor Claudius puts it 'the knee is nearer than the shin'. For good reasons, people tend to trust people who are like themselves, and as Robert Putnam points out :
But these signs are presumably illegal under British law. I suppose the reason we're not seeing these cases in the court reports is that the law was designed to stop natives putting up these kinds of advert.
"the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone – from their next-door neighbour to the mayor"