Setting the Agenda for the Press: The 1929 Case Against the Waterford Standard

Anthony Keating

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


On October 29, 1929, the Dublin weekly Catholic newspaper the Standard proudly proclaimed that the first prosecution under the Censorship of Publications Act, 1929 had been successful in a cases tried in Waterford City. The case brought against David C. Boyd, the editor of a provincial newspaper, the Waterford Standard, would influence the reporting of sexual crimes in the Irish Free State, and later, the Republic of Ireland, for decades to come. Despite its importance, the case has been largely overlooked in histories of censorship and Irish journalism, and even during the course of Boyd's prosecution the case received only limited coverage. The Irish press that had demonstrated a general compliance with censorship during the period of consultation prior to the bill and through its passage in the Dáil and Seanad. Much of the scholarly interest in this area has focused on the more visible impact of censorship on sections of the literary community, who—while often socially marginalized and small in number— highlighted their concerns during the debate of the censorship measure, and continued to push the boundaries after its passage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
JournalNew Hibernia Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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