Sunday 22 September 2019

Man admits possessing 'vile and obscene' banned book

Stock photo
Stock photo

Gordon Deegan

A 43-year-old west Clare man has pleaded guilty to the illegal possession of the first book to be banned here in nearly two decades.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Clifford Murrihy, of Crovroghan, Kildysart, Co Clare, pleaded guilty to the possession of 'The Raped Little Runaway' by Jean Martin.

The book, published by Star Distributors Ltd, became the first book to be banned by the Censorship of Publications Board (CBB) since 1998 in March 2016.

Mr Murrihy pleaded guilty to knowingly having in his possession child pornography - 'The Raped Little Runaway' - at his home in November 2015, four months before the book was banned by censors.

Counsel for the State Lorcan Connolly said the guilty plea was being made by Mr Murrihy in the context of the main witness for the State not being available.

Counsel for Mr Murrihy, Patrick Whyms BL, said it now becomes a matter of sentencing and said that the case could be adjourned to May 20 to fix a date for sentence.

In its ruling, the CBB found that the book - which contains multiple descriptions of child rape - to be "indecent" and "obscene". It voted to prohibit 'The Raped Little Runaway' at a meeting on March 1, 2016, and its decision prohibited the sale and distribution of the book in the State.

At the time, board chairman Shane McCarthy said the decision was unanimous among the five board members.

He said: "It was the only resort… The collective view of the board was that it was a vile publication as it contained graphic descriptions of the rape of a minor."

Mr Murrihy has made his guilty plea under Section Six of the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act.

Judge Gerald Keys remanded Mr Murrihy on bail to appear before Ennis Circuit Court on May 20.

Irish Independent

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