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Ireland 🇮🇪 (known commonly as the Republic of Ireland to distinguish from the island, but officially simply Ireland, and sometimes as Eire to distinguish from Northern Ireland) is a European country which practices Christianity, mainly Catholicism. Its languages are English and Irish Gaelic. It is a member of the European Union.

General censorship[]

Many of the works listed were banned up from after the 1916 Easter Rising due to the heavy influence of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Things such as teachings that didn't abide by Catholic Church ruling, feminism, sexual content, divorce, homosexuality, wedlock, and the like were among prohibited. However, eventually the Catholic Church's influence in the government started to lower down by the 1960s, and so did the censors.

Book censorship[]

Under Irish law, a book can only be initially banned for twelve years. Board members must read the submissions and then decide by majority on whether to censor a text. The process of book-banning being almost totally extinct in Ireland now, the book was the first banned in nearly twenty years and the decision made national news.

  • Publications such as The People, Sunday Chronicle, Daily Mail, and Illustrated Police News were forbidden by the 1926 Committee on Evil Literature due to lurid descriptions of violence and sex. The ban was lifted in 2012.
  • Womens' lifestyle magazines such as Vogue, Woman's Weeklyand Woman's World were banned for discussing women's issues that are in conflict with what Irish women were brought up to believe (including an advertisement for depilatory cream). The ban on these magazines was lifted in 2012.
  • News of the World was banned until its shutdown in 2011.
  • With the exception of college magazines, any book regarding the topic of abortion was banned or edited out until the 2018 referendum repealed the anti-abortion Eighth Amendment.
  • Christianity not Mysterious - this non-fiction work by John Toland was banned by the Irish Parliament in 1696 for contradicting the teaching of the Anglican Church. Copies of the book were burnt by the public hangman in Dublin.
  • Droll Stories - these short stories by Balzac were banned for obscenity in 1953. The ban was lifted in 1967.
  • Married Love - this non-fiction book by Marie Stopes was banned by the Irish Censorship Board for discussing birth control.
  • And Quiet Flows the Don - the English translation of this Mikhail Shokholov's novel sequence were banned for "indecency".
  • Elmer Gantry - this novel by Sinclair Lewis was banned in the Irish Free State.
  • The House of Gold - this novel by Liam O'Flaherty was the first book to be banned by the Irish Free State for alleged "indecency". Republished in 2013.
  • A Farewell to Arms - this novel by Ernest Hemingway was suppressed by the Irish Free State.
  • Marriage and Morals - this non-fiction work by Bertrand Russell was suppressed in the Irish Free State for discussing sex education, birth control and open marriages.
  • Commonsense and the Child - this non-fiction work by Ethel Mannin was banned in the Irish Free State for advocating sex education for adolescents.
  • The Bulpington of Blup and The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind - these works by H. G. Wells were banned in the Irish Free State.
  • Brave New World - this novel by Aldous Huxley was banned in Ireland in 1932, allegedly because of references of sexual promiscuity.
  • Men of Good Will - the English translation of this Julius Romains' novel sequence was banned in the Irish Free State.
  • The Martyr - this novel written by Liam O'Flaherty was banned in the Irish Free State.
  • The Laws of Life - this non-fiction work by Halliday Sutherland was banned in the Irish Free State for discussing sex education and Calendar-based contraceptive methods – even though The Laws of Life had been granted a Cum permissu superiorum endorsement by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster.
  • Honourable Estate - this novel by Vera Brittain was banned in the Irish Free State.
  • I Knock at the Door - this autobiography by Seán O'Casey was banned in Ireland.
  • Dutch Interior - this novel by Frank O'Connor was banned in Ireland.
  • The Tailor and Ansty - this non-fiction work by Frank Cross was banned by the Irish censors for discussing sexuality in rural Ireland.
  • Borstal Boy - this autobiographical novel by Brendan Behan was banned in Ireland in 1958. The Irish Censorship of Publications Board was not obliged to reveal its reason but it is believed that it was rejected for its critique of Irish republicanism and the Catholic Church, and its depiction of adolescent sexuality.
  • The Country Girls - this novel by Edna O'Brien was banned by Ireland's censorship board in 1960 for its explicit sexual content.
  • The Lonely Girl (1962) - this novel by Edna O'Brien was banned in Ireland in 1962 after Archbishop John Charles McQuaid complained personally to Justice Minister Charles Haughey that it "was particularly bad".
  • The Dark - this novel by John McGahern was banned in Ireland for obscenity.
  • My Secret Garden - this book by Nancy Friday was banned in Ireland for its sexual content.
  • The Catcher in the Rye - this book was banned in 1951, the ban has since been lifted, and the book has become required reading in many schools.
  • A large amount of now world-famous Irish literature was banned for a time in Ireland, including writers like Liam O'Flaherty, Seán Ó Faoláin, Edna O'Brien, Oliver St John Gogarty, or the egregiously cruel treatment of storyteller Timothy Buckley and his wife Anastasia, whose stories of married life in The Tailor And Ansty were considered obscene, with even an actual book Burning taking place outside their house. Contrary to what many people believed, James Joyce's Ulysses was never banned in Ireland - in fact, it was never printed or imported in the country in the first place, because they were certain it would be banned if it was.
  • The Raped Little Runaway - this book was banned for depictions of child rape.

Movie censorship[]

Until 2006, even filming a horror or witchcraft film in Ireland was virtually impossible, due to laws against practicing witchcraft or the supernatural.

  • Casablanca - banned due to its portrayal of the Nazis infringing on an act preserving wartime neutrality (Ireland was neutral during the war). A cut version removing dialogue about Rick and Ilsa's love affair was eventually passed, before the movie was released uncut.
  • Monkey Business - This film by the Marx Brothers was banned, as the censors thought it might encourage "anarchic tendencies". The ban was lifted in 2000.
  • Freaks - initially banned due to its portrayal of disabled people.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian - this film banned in Ireland from 1979 until 1987.
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life - banned from 1983 until 1990.
  • Natural Born Killers - this film was banned on initial release, but it has since been lifted.
  • A Clockwork Orange - banned due to excessive violence until 2000.
  • Cannibal Holocaust, Last Tango in Paris and Baise-moi - these films were banned their initial releases.
  • Porky's - this film was banned for two weeks after initial release.
  • The 2010 re-release of I Spit on Your Grave was banned.
  • Fantasia - this movie was banned and then recut on initial release in order to remove the Rite of Spring part, which according to a censor, "gave an entirely materialistic view on the origin of life" (most likely because said scene focuses on the Big Bang, something that would have been at odds with traditional Catholic beliefs). It has since been released entirely uncut.
  • Meet the Feebles - this film was banned in Ireland at some point, due to its over-the-top gore and adult themes.

Internet censorship[]

  • During the period of the 2018 referendum to repeal the Eight Amendment (which prohibited abortions within Ireland), Facebook and Google banned all advertisements from both sides, after it was found out that the anti-repeal movement had used foreign advertisers to increase their publicity.
  • The Pirate Bay was blocked on most internet services after 2009.
  • In March 2017, the AI app SimSimi was banned in both the Republic and Northern Ireland after many reports of cyber-bullying cases regarding the program. While the app can still be purchased from stores, any attempt to send a message will prompt a brief message regarding the ban and a quote against bullying.
  • The Irish government has prohibited Uber from doing private fares, fearing that it would cause an effect on Ireland's taxi industry and its Hail-O service.

Television censorship[]

From the 1970s, the Irish government started an institutional ban on the IRA. In 1988, they added a similar ban which applied to every terrorist organization in the UK, both being lifted in 1994, four years before the Good Friday Agreement. However, during this period, any material which mentioned The Troubles was not broadcast.

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation - in the episode "High Ground" with Data mentioned that Ireland was reunited in 2024 after a successful "terrorist" campaign. Such comment caused controversy for both sides in The Troubles that only in 2006 its full version was broadcast.

Video game censorship[]

  • Manhunt 2 - this game was banned in Ireland by the Irish Film Classification Office two weeks after its initial release due its gory violent content.
  • Omega Labyrinth Z - this game was banned due to its sexualised content involving girls who appear to be underage. It was given an 18 rating by PEGI due to strong sexual content.


  • Many schools in Gaeltacht regions (regions with a predominantly Irish Gaelic-speaking population) enact rules or bans against speaking English during class, which is very common in summer-course Irish colleges, where even speaking a single sentence warrants being expelled from the course period. A particular case was when a creche (kindergarten) in Connemara divided bilingual children from non-bilingual children, despite already being an Irish Gaelic-speaking creche.
  • At one point, there were churches which separated male from female churchgoers. These became very obscure and nobody was surprised when the last church that did separation of gender discontinued it in 2017.
  • Until 1971, any patron of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association, the organ which administers hurling and Gaelic football) who practiced or watched sports such as association football, rugby, cricket and hockey was stripped of its membership under the Rule 27, as these sports were considered garrison sports (as these were played by the British soldiers in Ireland during the British rule), and thus, foreign.

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