The beautiful and the damned: Ireland's banned books

The Catcher in the Rye went on to become prescribed Leaving Cert reading, but what became of the other books Ireland has banned over the years?

19th February, 2017
Edna O’Brien: the Irish novelist paid a personal price for writing about sex PIc: Getty

Like many Irish writers of her generation, Edna O’Brien paid a personal price for daring to write about sex. Banned in 1960, her first great novel The Country Girls was burned in her home village and decried from pulpits, much to her mother’s embarrassment, while then minister Charles Haughey labelled it a “smear on Irish womanhood”. If any one strand runs through the last century in Irish literary censorship, it is that neurotic obsession with...

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