An Irish video shop owner was fined €1,500 yesterday for having five standard adult hardcore movies for rent which were banned when viewed by the film censor.
Michael Bridgeman of Co Limerick, and Mungret Gate Developments, Mungret Street, Limerick, pleaded guilty at Galway District Court to three charges of having the illicit movies for supply without a film certificate or correct labelling at his
video shop, Underworld, on Upper Dominick Street, Galway, on May 28th last year, contrary to Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Video Recordings Act 1989.
Judge Mary Fahy said films such as those five banned by the censor, including Teen Thrills and Let Me Taste It , can be very obscene and disturbing . They can also show gross violence which can lead to other problems in
Gardaí in Carlow have seized a huge consignment of pornographic films in a series of raids on an adult shop in the town.
Gardaí secured a court order to take into police ownership more than 1,500 items including DVD discs and hundreds of plastic covers with explicit and supposedly obscene sexual images. The material will be destroyed by a specialist
company with a waste disposal licence.
Gardaí admitted they were unable to identify the owners of the shop, who are hiding behind bogus, shell companies . Their application to have the material impounded was not contested in court.
The gardaí passed information gathered in their ongoing investigations to the Criminal Assets Bureau. Under existing legislation, outlets which rent or sell films in video or DVD format must have a retail licence from the Irish Film Censors
Office, and all films must bear a sticker verifying that they have been classified. [and of course the IFCO have banned hardcore, although there is an ongoing court challenge]
A sample selection of the films seized was submitted to the Irish Film Classification Office, which confirmed they had not been classified for viewing in Ireland and were prohibitable under terms of the Video Recordings Act 1989. Garda sources
confirmed that similar films are on sale at shops in towns and cities throughout the State.
In 2008, 261 cases of unclassified films were brought to the attention of the Irish Film Classification Office, which a spokesman said would represent a sample of much larger numbers confiscated by the gardaí.
The shop in Carlow, Temptations, running since 2006, continues to trade on Tullow Street.
A shop assistant has been found guilty of illegally supplying pornographic videos following a raid by gardai in which
more than 1,700 uncertified DVDs were seized.
Ciara McFerran was found guilty of 30 counts of unlawful possession and supply of the DVDs. It is illegal to supply any video recording that has not been certified by the Irish Film Censor's Office. And of course the censors won't certificate
Dublin District Court heard the shop assistant was prosecuted because she was in charge of the store at the time of the raid, while her employers were out of the country.
Judge Catherine Murphy said she would only consider leaving the accused without convictions if the shop's owners made a €20,000 charity donation.
McFerran pleaded not guilty to 30 charges related to the possession and supply of each uncertified pornographic DVD title. The charges were under the Video Recordings Act. She claimed she knew nothing about the regulations and believed that
everything for sale in the shop, Miss Fantasia on South William Street, was above board .
The court heard 10 sample titles were selected from the seized DVDs and sent to the Irish Film Censorship Office (IFCO) to establish that they were never certified for supply in this country.
Ger Connolly, Acting Director of Film Censorship with the IFCO, told the court there had never been supply certificates in force for any of the works. He watched each DVD to establish the title and content and they were handed in to court to
give the judge a flavour of the content.