The Committee On Evil Literature

[Spotted in the Guardian] A fascinating piece by Robbie Meredith on The Committee On Evil Literature, appointed by Kevin O’Higgins in 1926, and the history of censorship in modern Ireland, on Radio3’s Twenty Minutes on Tuesday – listen here[RealPlayer audio file].. or go here. Interesting contributions from writer John McGahern and Tom Garvin, Professor of Politics at University College Dublin.. over 12,000 titles banned throughout the 20th Century.. but not Jimmy Joyce’s Ulysses.. and while the report ends by pointing out that no literature has been banned for well over a decade, the last book released from a banning order?.. Sex by Madonna.. banned in 1992.. released on 31 December 2004.

  • DCB

    Classic – very Father Ted – “Down with this sort of thing”

  • peteb

    It’s well worth listening to the programme.. some great quotes.. including, on getting hold of banned books – “Go to Belfast, that beacon outpost of Saxon freedom in Ireland.. You could get all the nasty books and fun books you wanted. You could also get contraceptives and spangled sweets, both of which were very desirable.”

  • peteb

    One more quote definitely worth noting from the programme –

    Ezra Pound writing to Desmond Fitzgerald, Minister for Foreign Affairs [9:20 minutes in]

  • middle-class taig

    ah, spangles

    now you’re getting me going

  • Ricardo

    I can’t listen to the programme, but does anyone know if ‘The Tailor and Ansty’ was one of the books banned?

  • peteb


    You should just require RealPlayer.. download here

    as for ‘The Tailor and Antsy’.. it wasn’t mentioned in the programme.

  • martin

    strange set of affairs when one couldnt buy Dan Breens-My fight for Irish Freedom in the south but you could in the North during the era of the B-specials.

  • peteb


    A little googling may help you find the info you are looking for…

    This search points to a site which claims that The Tailor and Antsy was banned in 1943 – scroll down.

  • Dave

    Are all the books by Arro Manhattan are still banned in the Republic of Ireland? This seems pointless now that anyone can read them on the internet. Such is progress.

  • Fraggle

    I spose back then they couldn’t order the books from the internet because customs would open all the Amazon parcels.