Archives show minister for justice Alan Dukes clashed with attorney general John Rodgers over access to the film censor's historical files.
In 1986 Kevin Rockett, then academic and chairman of the Irish Film Institute , wrote to attorney general John Rogers to say he had been refused access to the film censor's files, even for films of the 1920s, by then minister for justice Alan Dukes .
Rogers wrote to Dukes saying that he did not see the legal basis on which access to the files, especially for films made 30 years or more previously, could be resisted or refused.
A month later, Dukes responded that over the years, censors and ministers for justice had always considered themselves precluded , on the basis of breach of confidence, from disclosure of information on films.
Further letters ensued and eventually the files were opened following a long struggle. Rockett told The Irish Times that a fter a long and frustrating campaign he eventually convinced the Official Film Censor in 1998 to transfer the more than 100
volumes of film censorship material to the National Archives.
Rockett wrote Irish Film Censorship: A Cultural Journey from Silent Cinema to Internet Pornography in 2004, with the help of those files.