Irish Film Institute -International Film Directory – Film Listing

406 Days

    • Director

      Joe Lee

    • Credits

      Fergus Dowd

  • Category


Joe Lee (Fortune’s Wheel) focuses on the plight of the 1,000 Irish Debenhams workers who were made redundant in April 2020 when Debenhams UK Retail Ltd. shut all 11 Irish stores including their flagship store on Dublin's Henry Street.

The 95% female workforce had been denied an earlier agreed redundancy package and so voted to go on official strike. The workers remained on the picket lines, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, for 406 days, making this the longest industrial dispute in Irish labour history. It finally ended in May 2021 with a compromise and a government-sponsored proposal based around a retraining fund. Made with the support of the Debenhams Shop Stewards Group and Fergus Dowd (author of Tales From The Debenhams Picket Line), the film reveals the courage, determination, and friendship that lay behind the lengthy conflict.

Notes by Sunniva O'Flynn

90 minutes, Ireland, 2023, Colour

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by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland