The Dáil will today debate a Fianna Fáil Bill to abolish the obsolete Censorship of Publications Board.
The outdated quango has had no members since 2011 and has only been relevant once in the past 5 years – when it received a complaint about Alan Shatter’s novel ‘Laura’.
The Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins explained, “This quango is clearly out of use. To keep it running is a complete waste and flies in the face of Fine Gael’s promises of a ‘quango cull’.
“The board was originally established in 1946 to ban the sale or publication of controversial publications. Its remit and appeals process are totally outdated. It does not cover the distribution of illegal material, like child pornography, which is already an offence. Its five year term of office expired in November 2011 and the new board has not been appointed yet.
“No publication has been banned in Ireland since the year 2000. The one and only time in the last 5 years that the board received a complaint was in relation to Minister Shatter’s novel ‘Laura’. Ironically, this gave the book more publicity and probably led to an increase in sales. This small, but high profile anecdote demonstrates the extent to which the entity has outlived it’s usefulness.
“Fine Gael has already broken its promise to abolish 145 quangos. This is one quango that could be abolished today without any impact on jobs, on consumers and on the economy. I am urging Government Deputies to support this Bill today.”