IRELAND'S official policy towards homosexuality was challenged by a Belgium-based rights group.
Newly-released State archives reveal the Department of Foreign Affairs consulted the Attorney General on correspondence it received from the Brussels-based group Arcadie.
The lobby group was challenging Ireland's position on same-sex couples in light of its membership of the European Community and the stance of other states on the issue.
In a memo, the Attorney General's office argued that Ireland had no laws on homosexuality – merely that acts related to it were forbidden.
"Homosexuality, as such, is not the subject matter of any law either permitting it or condoning it. In particular, it is not a crime," it read.
"However, certain activities not wholly irrelevant to the subject are forbidden by law. Thus, gross indecency between males, indecent assault and sodomy are crimes as are attempts etc."
Homosexuality was eventually decriminalised in Ireland in 1993.