Thursday, 1 February 2018

Questions (149, 150, 151)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

149. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of publications referred to the Censorship of Publications Board per annum since 2000; the number of publications prohibited per annum since 2000, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5061/18]

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Niamh Smyth

Question:

150. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of members on the Censorship of Publications Board in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and the cost of the board per annum in those years. [5062/18]

View answer

Niamh Smyth

Question:

151. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of members on the Censorship of Publications appeals board from 2010 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and the cost of the board per annum in those years. [5063/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 to 151, inclusive, together.

In Ireland, as in many other countries, the right of freedom of expression is subject to certain restrictions that are justified in the public interest. These include restrictions permitting the censorship of publications under certain circumstances.

Censorship of publications is governed by legislation and administered by two statutory boards, as follows:

- the Censorship of Publications Board which was established under the Censorship of Publications Act 1929, and

- the Censorship of Publications Appeal Board which was established under the Censorship of Publications Act 1946.

Any person may make a complaint to the Censorship of Publications Board.

A prohibition order may be appealed to the Censorship of Publications Appeal Board by:

- the author, editor or publisher of the publication, or

- any five members of the Oireachtas acting jointly.

The Appeal Board may affirm, revoke or vary a prohibition. Complaints and appeals must be made in accordance with the Censorship of Publications Regulations 1980.

The number of publications referred to the Censorship of Publications Board per annum since 2000 and the number of such publications prohibited per annum is set out below.

 Year

Publications Referred

Publications Prohibited

Periodical Publications Referred

Periodical Publications Prohibited

 2000

 4

 0

11 

 0

 2001

 0

 0

 3

 0

 2002

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2003

 1

 0

 15

 9

 2004

 0

 0

 2

 0

 2005

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2006

 1

 0

 2

 0

 2007

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2008

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2009

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2010

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2011

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2012

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2013

 1

 0

 0

 0

 2014

 2

 0

 1

 0

 2015

 1

 0

 0

 0

 2016

 1

 1

 0

 0

 2017

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2018 (to end of January)

 0

 0

 0

 0

The Censorship of Publications Board comprises five Board members: a Chairperson and four Ordinary Members. The Board expired in November 2011, having served a term of five years.  A new Board was appointed with effect from March 2014. Members of this Board do not receive remuneration. For the years from 2011 to 2015 and from 2017 to date in 2018, no travel and subsistence allowance was paid to the Board members. In 2016, €604.35 in travel and subsistence expenses was paid to members of the Board.

The Censorship of Publications Appeal Board comprises five Board members: a Chairperson and four Ordinary Members. The Board expired in February 2012, having served a term of three years. No Board members have been appointed since that date. Members of this Board do not receive remuneration. For the years from 2010 to 2017 and to date in 2018, no travel and subsistence expenses have been paid to Board members.