The Irish Film Censor's Office will remove the "censorship" part from its name as it emerged only four pornographic films and one video game fell foul of its powers last year.
Current head of the Irish Film Censor's Office (IFCO) John Kelleher believes that the role of moral guardian of the masses is long gone.
And to reflect the seismic shift in the ethos of the censor over the past 85 years, the title of "Censor" will soon be no more. The Minister (for Justice) is planning to change, at my request, the name of the office.
I understand that an amendment is in the pipeline which will change our name from the Irish Film Censor's Office to the Irish Film Classification Office. I think for most people, that would be a very welcome change, said Mr Kelleher.
Four hardcore pornographic DVDs and one video game have fallen foul of the Irish censor over the past year. Altogether, staff at the Irish Film Censor's Office (IFCO) reviewed more than 8,000 items. None of the 280 feature films and more than 300
film trailers was deemed unpalatable for public consumption.
However, the same cannot be said of four pornographic DVDs and the video game Manhunt 2, which were all banned in 2007. The DVDs were banned as they were found to be indecent or obscene and likely to deprave or corrupt.
Irish video rental stores and other outlets face fines for supplying children with DVDs classified for older viewers.
Legislation makes it an offence for the first time to breach film classification certificates in over-the- counter rentals and sales and offenders can be fined up to €2,000 or even jailed for three years.
It means younger DVD library members may be asked to provide proof of their age if they try to rent a film with an age specific rating such as 12A, 15A, 16 or 18 and could be refused certain films even if they have parental permission to view it
The laws also make changes to the Film Censor's Office which is now called the Irish Film Classification Office and no longer has powers to ban a film outright [A bit hard to believe! Somebody should
try resubmitting Manhunt 2 to test this out].
Censor John Kelleher, who becomes director of film classification, welcomed the move, which he said reflected the profound changes in Ireland's recent past. We have moved far away from the nanny state moral guardian censorship of yesteryear
towards an acceptance of the general principle that, in a mature society, adults should be free, subject to the law, to make their own choices.
Today, we don't censor, we classify. We don't decline to explain or justify our decisions. Rather, we welcome the fact that we can provide the public, and parents, with age-related classification and consumer advice. We have gone from stop sign
The censor still has a role in protecting under-18s, however, and his powers in that area have been strengthened with specific reference in the law to his duty to apply restrictive classifications where a film is likely to cause harm to
Much of the existing law, the 85-year-old Censorship of Film Act of 1923, survives and the censor still has to take into consideration scenes that render a film indecent, obscene or blasphemous or would tend to inculcate principles
contrary to public morality.
As part of the changes, a scale of fees is being introduced to ease the cost of applying for classification for independent film makers, foreign movie distributors and art house films that get a very limited cinema release. Instead of paying €12
per minute of film for every copy distributed to a cinema, they will pay €3.
The Irish Department of Finance has published recommendations for around €5.3bn worth of public spending cuts; €37m across Arts and Culture, which includes the transfer of the Irish Film Board's functions to a new enterprise agency and
discontinuation of the investment fund.
The report proposes a Mega Censor:
The merger of ComReg with the new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (the result of merging the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and the regulatory functions of the RTÉ Authority) because of
the growing convergence between the communications and broadcasting industries.
Transferring the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) into the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)
Kissing Candice is a 2017 Ireland / UK drama by Aoife McArdle.
Starring Ann Skelly, Ryan Lincoln and Conall Keating.
17 year old Candice longs to escape her seaside town and finds solace in her imagination. When her disillusionment calcifies into an obsession with a troubled stranger, she becomes entangled with a dangerous local gang.
THE Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) has upheld an 18 rating for an Irish film by a debut director Aoife McArdle despite the film being given a 15 rating in the UK.
Kissing Candice is a youth oriented film about a young girl in a border town who first dreams of and then meets a young boy who's connected to a gang that is terrorising her town.
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has been shown at other youth-orientated festivals.
Wildcard Distribution is the Irish distributor for the film and its managing director Patrick O'Neill has said that the company was surprised when it was given an 18 cert:
We just thought the rating was a little harsh for the film, we just thought something along the lines of a 15A or a 16 would have been more in keeping with the content of the film.
IFCO's 18 rating has the consumer advice: contains scenes of strong drugs abuse, strong violence and language and strong sex references.
The UK's BBFC was less severe in its rating of the film, giving it an uncut 15 rating for very strong language, strong threat, drug misuse.
Kissing Candice is released in Irish cinemas on 22 June