Book Censorship in Ireland
 Minister for censorship investigated by how own censor board
  Menu Censorship News Latest Melon Farmers
  Home Daily UK Ratings from the BBFC Links

22nd May

  Forgotten Book Censorship...

Irish Justice Minister's novel set to be investigated by his own book censorship board

Laura Novel Will Never Forget A sexy novel written by Ireland's Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, has been referred to the Censorship office. Book censors are set to investigate whether Laura: A Story You Will Never Forget is too obscene for Irish readers.

The book, which the minister wrote 24 years ago, contains steamy sex scenes and centres around the troubled private life of an Oireachtas member who is having an affair with his secretary. At one point in the book, the fictional parliamentarian attempts to force the woman to have an abortion in order to save his political career.

The Herald understands that a complaint about the book's sex scenes has been lodged with the Censorship of Publications Board. Another allegation is the novel advocates the procurement of an abortion or miscarriage. In Ireland there are two main categories under which books can be banned. The first is they are indecent or obscene while the second is they advocate the procurement of abortion or miscarriage .

A spokesperson for the Board confirmed that concerns have been raised with its secretary by a member of the public and added: The complaint will be considered by the new Censorship of Publications Board when it is appointed. Ironically, it is Shatter who is due to announce the members of the board in the coming weeks.


25th June

 Updated: Hardly Earth Shattering...

Conflict of interest moves Irish book censorship to another ministry

Laura Novel Will Never ForgetA sexy novel written by the Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter 24 years ago has prompted him to transfer responsibility for censorship out of his department.

A ludicrous complaint to the Censorship of Publications Board alleging that his novel, Laura: A Story You Will Never Forget , is somehow obscene posed a dilemma for the Minister whose department has ultimate responsibility for the board.

In response he has decided to shift responsibility for censorship out of Justice to the Department of Arts and Heritage. A Government spokesman said the Minister had made the decision in case there was any suggestion of a conflict of interest on the part of Shatter.

A complaint about the book's sex scenes was lodged with the censorship board over a month ago. The complaint also claims that the novel advocates the procurement of an abortion or miscarriage, contrary to Irish censorship laws.

Update: Cashing In

25th June 2013. See  article from

Justice Minister Alan Shatter's raunchy first novel Laura has been reprinted and hits the bookshelves today.

A spokeswoman for Poolbeg Press said:

We have had very good support for the reprint of the book from stores like Easons, Tesco, Dunnes Stores, with a good response also from Dubray and other independent book stores.

Women will enjoy the book. It's written in 1989 but the issues it raises are still very relevant and it has tough questions to ask.

We've decided to keep the original cover. It has become quite iconic.

Shatter is expected to do one or two high-profile interviews to promote the book. When Poolbeg approached him about reprinting the book, he said he was very happy with it .


27th October

 Update: Putting a Dead Parrot out of its Misery...

Ireland's Fianna Fail party introduces a bill to end book censorship
  fianna fail logo Irish opposition party, Fianna Fail is seeking to disband the country's book censors.

The party's justice spokesperson, Niall Collins, has laid a bill before the Dail calling for the abolition of the Censorship of Publications Board.

The board has been more or less dormant of late but returned to public attention earlier this year when Justice Minister Alan Shatter's novel Laura was referred to it after a ludicrous complaint by a member of the public that the novel's contents were somehow "obscene and contravened laws on procurement of an abortion or miscarriage".

However, no decision on the salaciousness or otherwise of Shatter's novel has been made, because the board currently does not have any members.

Collins said he had tabled the motion in order to put the board out of its misery. He said such a level of inactivity indicates the board is essentially defunct; it is as dead as the parrot in Monty Python .


6th December

 Update: You Couldn't Make It Up...

Ireland set to appoint 5 temporary book censors to handle a whinge about politician's novel that has got absolutely no chance of being censored
Laura Alan Shatter Irish arts minister Jimmy Deenihan is somehow 'being forced' to appoint five book censors to deal with a complaint about Alan Shatter' s racy novel, Laura .

The positions are unpaid but members can qualify for limited travel and subsistence expenses for meeting to decide on the complaint about the novel.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, Deenihan signalled that the Censorship of Publications Board is still facing the axe.

A government spokesman said it would be inappropriate to abolish the board at this time when a complaint still had to be dealt with.

The Censorship of Publications Board has not banned any works since 2003 and has had no board members in place for the past two years.


19th March

 Update: Chief Book Censor McCarthy...

Ireland appoints a new book censorship board

Laura Alan Shatter ebook A new book censorship board has been appointed by the Government with the sole purpose of reviewing Justice Minister Alan Shatter's novel Laura .

The minister's fictional tale of a married politician involved in a secret affair is the only book to be reported to the Censorship of Publications Boards in the last five years.

The office is due to be abolished by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan. But beforehand it must determine if Shatter's novel is suitable for sale in Ireland.

The board's chairman will be Cork solicitor Shane McCarthy and the other members are barrister Sinead Prunty, lecturer Noelle O'Connor, librarian Georgina Byrne, and retired policeman Philip Moynihan.


9th May

  Complainants Shattered...

Irish book censors inevitable clear racy novel written by politician
Laura Alan Shatter Irish book censors have cleared an ex-minister's novel that was ludicrously accused accused of Obscenity and the encouragement of abortion.

Alan Shatter's novel Laura was written 25 years ago and was a bestseller at the time, but has languished in obscurity until someone kindly complained to the then non-existent book censors. The complaint hit the headlines and it inspired a re-print of the book.

The Irish Independent has learned that the board, chaired by Cork solicitor Shane McCarthy, met in late April and decided that no action would be taken against the book's publishers, Poolbeg Press.

The censorship board returned a copy of Shatter's book to the complainant, with a letter advising that it did not see any problem with its content and that (the board) decided that no action would be taken against the publisher .