Written Answers. - Censorship of Publications.

475.

asked the Minister for Justice if he is aware that the centre page contents and advertisements in a magazine (details supplied) are in breach of the Censorship of Publications Act; if he is also aware that this magazine is freely available in major newsagents in Dublin city; and the action he proposes to take in the matter.

The material referred to in the question comprises (a) photographs and (b) an advertisement for a book of photographs in the named magazine. Accordingly, the statement in the question that the publication of these items is contrary to the law is clearly an expression of opinion on a matter in which only a court can give an authoritative decision.

The institution of criminal proceedings is a matter for the Garda Síochána acting where necessary in consultation with or on the directions of the Director of Public Prosecutions. It is open to the Deputy, or to any other person who may think that the publication of particular material involves a breach of the criminal law, to make a formal complaint to the local Garda Síochána, who, if it appeared to them that there was some reasonable ground for complaint, would submit the matter for the directions of the law officers.

476.

asked the Minister for Justice the number of prosecutions under the Censorship of Publications Act for each calendar year from 1970 to the latest available date.

The information is not readily available and a special check on records at local level would have to be made to compile it. I do not think that the value of the information would justify the expenditure of Garda time that would be required to assemble it.