This is Banned Book week.  Ireland has had a heavy handed history of censorship.  The first book to be banned was Liam O’Flaherty’s ‘The House of Gold’ in 1929 for indecency and obscenity.  Others on the list include ‘Brave new world’ by Aldous Huxley, Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the rye and our own Edna O’Brien’s ‘The country girls. The pill, post and porn were some of the items that came under the censor's eye. 

Do you have any recollections of censorship in Ireland?

Did it bother you then?

Are any of Ireland’s censorship laws today archaic? 

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Utterly delightful - new to me, of course, but You Tube is available!

Well it was fun smuggling in Lady Chatterley to school and we'd all have a read.

Sometimes some brave guy would smuggle a men's magazine like Playboy into school after the families trip to Belfast. That was the best but another friend who went to Synge Street got caught and had his arse beaten until it was red. Won't say what the Brothers did after that as it is now common knowledge.

Remember the Church ruled Ireland and what the Pope or the Bishops said was taken seriously. Dev never moved without consulting Rome and Ireland's foreign affairs was the same.

There are some items that have to be censored for children. I do believe that but adults who have had a full education and exposure to the world should be allowed to make up their own minds what to read or what to watch.


I remember at St Brigids school in N. Ireland they banned us from going to the cinema to watch, Life of Brian, the nuns even picketed outside the cinema, I watched it a few years later and fell about laughing, it was so funny.

I wonder if they ever saw it though?

On this day 1994 - Irish Government announces the end of a 15-year broadcasting ban on the IRA and its political arm Sinn Féin.

When Brendan Behan's Borstal Boy was banned in the late 1950s the Irish Times featured a cartoon of two men passing a newsagent placard reading " Irish Author Banned " one man says to the other, ' Success upon success, I'd say'. Behan used to say if all the books banned in Ireland were printed in Irish the language would thrive.

On hearing the above book was also banned in Australia Behan's acerbic comment was " Australia; where's that?"

James O'Brien ( Against The Wind)


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