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Wednesday 17 September 2014

One man's crusade to tackle pubs showing porn movies

Ed Carty

Published 28/12/2012 | 05:00

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A GARDA superintendent exercised the country's top legal minds seeking advice on how to stop publicans from showing pornographic films, state papers from 1982 have revealed.

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Superintendent T Leahy, based in Co Clare, said there was intelligence of at least one bar in the Ennistymon area offering explicit movie shows.

No suspect publican or pub was named.

But with his moral compass navigating all the way to Attorney General Patrick Connolly – later to resign over the Malcolm Macarthur affair – it's obvious the superintendent was determined to enforce decency.

He wrote to the state solicitor in Co Clare concerned that there was no law in the land to shut down the porn enterprise.

"I can find nothing in law to provide for this situation," the superintendent said.

The debate on laws to tackle public showings of porn films ran from May to August in 1982.

Michael A Buckley, deputy assistant chief state solicitor, said he had been asked by director of public prosecutions (DPP) Eamonn Barnes whether prosecutions should be brought.

Mr Buckley said that local gardai should object to a liquor licence being renewed if a prosecution was successful.

Despite all the suspicions about a porn club, and after looking into the reports from Co Clare, Mr Buckley later wrote to the DPP as frustrations began to mount that the advice was sought in the first place.

"It might be possible to initiate a prosecution on grounds that the showing of these films tends to cause a lowering of public morals in the area," Mr Buckley wrote.

Irish Independent

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