Shatter forced to give up censor role over his racy novel
JUSTICE Minister Alan Shatter is to transfer responsibility for censoring books to Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan to avoid a conflict of interest over his racy novel 'Laura'.
A government spokesman did not name Mr Shatter's book, but said he understood a book written by a minister was subject to a complaint and could come before the censorship board, which Mr Shatter appoints.
The decision to transfer responsibility is effective for both the Censorship of Publications Board and the Censorship of Publications Appeal Board. It is also permanent and does not require legislation, but can be done by a statutory instrument.
Mr Shatter's book, written 24 years ago and called 'Laura: A Story You Will Never Forget', will be reprinted next month because of demand. It contains steamy sex scenes and centres on the troubled private life of an Oireachtas member who is having an affair with his secretary.
At one point, the fictional TD attempts to force the woman to have an abortion in order to save his political career.
A complaint about the book's sex scenes was lodged with the Censorship of Publications Board a few weeks ago.
In Ireland there are two main categories under which books can be banned. The first is that they are "indecent or obscene" and the second is that they "advocate the procurement of abortion or miscarriage".