Ban Other Thing We're Not Allowed; HISTORY OF STATE CENSORSHIP EXAMINED

Article excerpt

Byline: ALANA FEARON

IRELAND has long been viewed as one of Europe's most culturally conservative countries.

The Catholic Church was at one time as powerful as a monarchy and with that came its strict view of entertainment.

Censorship saw films, books and plays banned because they were deemed unsuitable.

Tonight, TV3's two-part documentary Banned takes a look at the history of State intervention in the media.

At one time the rules were so strict that any mention of sex, divorce, contraception, abortion or miscarriage was banned.

Even the words virgin and jeepers creepers were once banned from our screens.

Hardly surprising as one censor revealed he used the Ten Commandments as his guide to what was acceptable.

Nowadays, films that are banned and cut have been reduced to a mere trickle.

Porn is still one of the biggest taboos in the country and around 3,000 blues are still prohibited.

Since censorship laws were introduced in Ireland almost a century ago, more than 50,000 films have been banned and cut.

But as the country became more liberal, so too did the views on what was acceptable to watch and read.

After 80 years of censorship from a board once internationally notorious for its strict values, the last remaining book to be banned in Ireland on the grounds of obscenity had its prohibition lifted in 2010. …