This week in my Irish Literature class we learned about censorship in Ireland after we had become a free state. This was something i had not really gave much thought to as it is not really a problem here today.
In 1929, which was just seven years after Ireland gained its independence, a law was brought in known as Censorship of Publications Act, 1929. This act prohibited the publication of a range of texts such as book, advertisements, films, newspapers and magazines which discussed important social topics such as Catholic morality, abortion and birth control, homosexuality and sex.
It is clear that the Irish Government did not want these issues discussed by the people. it was a drastic measure they took in trying to prevent the Irish from ‘being lead a stray’ and an attempt to purify them.
This act effected a lot of Irish writers as their content was banned. in fact famous writers such as Frank O’Connor and Kate O’Brien who’s works were banned in Ireland during this time. This restricted many peoples ability to make a living from writing so it left many with two options, either immigrate to places such as Spain and the United Kingdom, or to give up writing altogether.
I think its insane that the Irish government were able to stop the people from discussing vital social concepts and were forced to keep quite. Nowadays I think the Irish would fight a lot harder for their freedom of speech. Even now Ireland is fighting to repeal the 8th amendment which is the constitutional ban on abortion in Ireland. So I think we have grown up in the sense that we know what we should be entitles to as a nation and are more willing to stand up for ourselves