12 August 1999


Magazine banned for six months

Incident details


(IPI/IFEX) - IPI condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision by
the Censorship of Publications Board to ban "In Dublin" magazine for six

IPI is dismayed that a progressive and democratic country like Ireland still
maintains an institution such as the Censorship of Publications Board, the
mere existence of which runs counter to democratic principles of freedom of
expression and Ireland's international legal obligations.

IPI's sources have indicated that the Censorship of Publications Board voted
in favour of the prohibition order against "In Dublin" under the Censorship
of Publications Act, 1946, at a meeting on 18 April 1999. Following meetings
with the publishers of "In Dublin", the board announced on 11 August that it
had decided to ban the publication for six months. The ban prohibits the
sale and distribution in Ireland of any issue of "In Dublin" on or after 10

As an entertainment listings magazine, "In Dublin" has been an excellent
source of news and information to people in the capital for over
twenty-three years.

Ireland is a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR)
which is a binding legal instrument. Article 10 of the ECHR guarantees
freedom of expression and information, without interference by public
authorities and regardless of frontiers. Under the Convention, grounds for
restrictions on the freedom of expression and information must follow a
"legitimate aim" and be "necessary in a democratic society." According to
IPI, the banning of "In Dublin" because its editions "have usually or
frequently been indecent or obscene" clearly does not fulfil this decisive

IPI understands that the ban is being appealed by "In Dublin".

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the prime minister:

  • stating that you appreciate the independence and impartiality of the
    judiciary and the fact that that they are merely upholding the laws of the
  • suggesting that the Censorship of Publications Act, 1946, has no place
    a democratic society and urging him to take steps to revoke it immediately
  • further urging him to make a public and unequivocal statement in support
    of freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Ireland to reassure the
    public that his government is not intent on stamping out any publication
    that does not reflect certain moral attitudes

    Appeals To

    Prime Minister Bertie Ahern
    Prime Minister of Ireland
    Office of the Prime Minister
    Government Bldg's, Upper Merrion St.
    Dublin 2, Ireland
    Fax: + 353 1 676 4048
    E-mail: webmaster@taoiseach.irlgov.ie

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    International Press Institute
    Spiegelgasse 2
    1010 Vienna
    ipi (@) freemedia.at
    Fax:+43 1 5129014
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