The passage of the 1929 Censorship of Publications Act marked a significant development for the inclusion of Irish Catholic teaching into the Free State’s legal system. Notwithstanding this, many on the fundamentalist wing of Irish Catholicism felt let down by the scope of the Act. Censorship, under the Act, was limited to issues of sex, sexual morality, contraception and abortion and excluded attacks on the Catholic faith and the denial of God, all of which were viewed as blasphemy, and therefore the legitimate focus of censorship, by many of those who had lobbied for the extension of censorship. The Catholic Truth Society of Ireland (CTSI) was in the vanguard of lobbying for the introduction of the 1929 Act and played the leading role in its policing. The CTSI was unstinting in its efforts to officially and surreptitiously extend censorship. This article traces the correspondence of the CTSI with politicians, the Catholic hierarchy and a leading print distributor, in order to demonstrate how the organization sought to extend literary censorship to encompass blasphemy, through the application of moral, economic and political pressure. A campaign that had at its heart the desire to control the actions and thoughts of the Irish people.
|Early online date||15 Mar 2014|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2014|