18/03/2014 : New Chairperson and Membership of the Censorship of Publications Board announced

Tuesday, March 18th – Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has announced a new Chairman designate and signalled his intention to appoint four new members of the Censorship of Publications Board.

The Censorship of Publications Board is set up under the Censorship of Publications Acts, 1929 to 1967. The Censorship of Publications Board meets only when it is required.  It last met on 3 June 2008. One complaint has been received for consideration by the Censorship of Publications Board.

Significant legislative change has taken place since these boards were first put in place, and technological advancement has altered the way in which information is accessed and disseminated. Minister Deenihan is moving to appoint a board to deal with the outstanding complaint as this complaint has been made under the current system and should be dealt with accordingly. However, the continuing requirement for and relevance of both the Censorship of Publications Board and Censorship of Publications Appeals Board will be reviewed over the coming period.


The legislation specifies that the Board shall have five members including the Chairperson.  The Board is appointed by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Board is independent of the Minister in the exercise of its functions and the Minister does not have powers to alter its decisions.  The term of the new Board will run to November 2016.  Board members are not paid but will be recompensed for expenses incurred in respect of attendance at Board meetings.

Mr. Shane McCarthy is the Chairperson designate. In line with the procedures for such appointments, Mr McCarthy’s position will be confirmed following appearance before Oireachtas Committee at a date to be arranged. The four members of the Board are Dr Noëlle O’Connor, Sinéad Prunty, Philip Moynihan and Georgina Byrne.

Further details on the new appointees to the Censorship of Publications Board:

Mr. Shane McCarthy the Chairperson designate is a Solicitor with a legal practice in Skibbereen, County Cork.  He holds a BCL, an LLB and a Masters in Criminology from UCC.  As well as being a member of the General Council of the Law Society of Ireland, he is also a member of the Society’s Regulation of Practice Committee and Criminal Law and Human Rights Committee.  He has been a member of the Garda Siochana Complaints Board since April 2002 and a member of the Parole Board since 2009.

Dr Noëlle O’Connor is the Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Hospitality Studies and the Course Director for the B.A. (Hons.) in Business Studies with Event Management Programme in Limerick Institute of Technology.  She is also a MBA Online Lecturer at Glion University (Switzerland).  Noëlle has industrial experience within in the Irish, British, French and Austrian hospitality industries and has gained much extern examining experience in Ireland, Nepal, Switzerland and the UK.  Noelle is presently on the Editorial Review Board for many of the world’s leading tourism journals and her research focus is in the area of film induced tourism, celebrity endorsement of tourism destinations, destination branding and tourism education.

Sinéad Prunty is a practising barrister since 2007 and lectures in criminal law and the law of evidence at the Professional Law School of Griffith College Dublin.  Sinéad is a volunteer legal adviser with the Free Legal Aid Centre, a board member of the charity Empowerment Plus and is the Child Protection Officer of the Irish Aquatic Sports Centre.  She graduated from The Honourable Society of King’s Inns in 2006 having achieved honours in her Postgraduate LLB and BA degree at the National University of Ireland Galway, where she was also elected as the Students’ Union Disability Awareness Officer.

Philip Moynihan retired from An Garda Siochána in 2010, having attained the rank of Chief Superintendent in 2006.  He holds a B.A. in Public Management from the Institute of Public Administration and a Diploma in Legal Studies from Waterford Institute of Technology.  He has been active in the G.A.A. as a player, supporter and is currently a member of the Management Committee of Bray Emmets.  In 2012, he was appointed by the government to the Property Services Appeal Board.

Georgina Byrne was born in Dublin and studied English Literature for her undergraduate degree at UCD. Having taught at post primary level for some years she joined the public library service in Dublin in the early 1980s. She undertook a post graduate qualification in Information Studies from UCD and a Masters in Management from the University of Wales and worked at many levels within South Dublin Libraries becoming County Librarian in 2009. In that role she delivered Ireland’s first ebook lending service from a public library platform and other successful projects including TEDx Tallaght and the annual Red Line Book Festival.



Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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