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Adult shop owner in court bid to clear 'obscene' film

THE owner of an adult shop in is seeking a court order to allow a certificate for a pornographic movie described as "obscene" and "indecent".

Jaqueline Byrne, of Capel Street, Dublin, who is the owner of Shauna's adult store, has taken proceedings against the Official Censor and the Censorship of Films Appeals Board.

Ms Byrne is seeking a court order quashing the censor's refusal to grant her a certificate for a pornographic movie entitled 'Anabolic Initiations No 5'.

She claims the Appeal Board's decision, which she was informed of in July 2006, amounted to unfair procedure and contrary to natural justice because it gave no reasons for its decision.

The defendants deny the claims. They claim that reasons for the refusal were given to the applicant.

Yesterday, Anthony Collins, for Ms Byrne, told the High Court that in April 2004 his client was informed by the Official Censor that her application to have the film certified was being refused. The censor said in his decision that the work was unfit for viewing because it contained material that was "obscene or indecent", that would "deprave or corrupt persons who might view it".

That decision was appealed. A report prepared by UK-based psychologist and academic Denis Howitt, who has written extensively on the effects of pornography, was submitted to the board.

Mr Howitt said that the type of pornographic material depicted in 'Anabolic Initiations No 5' could be classified as erotic as opposed to pornography deemed to be either sexually violent or degrading and dehumanising.

However, on July 12, 2006, Ms Byrne was informed that the Appeal Board was upholding the Censor's earlier decision to prohibit the work.

Mr Collins said that the board gave no reasons why certification was refused. He said that Ms Byrne was entitled to know why a certificate was not awarded.

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The court also heard that the film was available from licensed operators in the United Kingdom.

The action continues.

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