12 February-Censorship of Publications Board (Ireland)

The Censorship of Publications Board (Ireland) was first established in 1930. The Board consists of five members who are appointed under the Censorship of Publications Acts of 1929, 1946 and 1967. The selling or distribution of publications which the Board regards as obscene is illegal. Up until the early 1990’s large numbers of publications were banned. Today there are almost 300 books and magazines banned in Ireland. However it is only rarely that publications are now prohibited.

During the 1920’s the Minister for Justice, Mr Kevin O’Higgins felt the laws governing censorship did not need to be strengthened. Other politicians, such as Éamon de Valera felt that publications in Ireland should be censored unless they lived up to the ‘holiest traditions’. Under pressure from groups such as the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland (CTSI) the Minister established the Committee on Evil Literature. The report of the committee led to passing of the Censorship of Publications Act, 1929.

The Censorship of Publications Board was appointed in February 1930. In May of the same year the Board published, in Ireland’s State Gazette (Iris Oifigúil), a list of the first thirteen publications to be banned. In the following years large numbers of publications were banned, including works by respected international and Irish writers. These included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Kate O’Brien and Seán O’Faoláin.

The Censorship of Publications Board (Ireland) was first appointed in the year 1930 On This Day.

Collected stories of Sean O’Faolain




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