Dáil Éireann - Volume 463 - 14 March, 1996

Written Answers. - Indecent Materials Seizure.

76. Ms O'Donnell asked the Minister for Justice the existing powers which the Garda have regarding the search for and seizure of indecent or obscene pictures, books, magazines and videos; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5917/96]

Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): The legislation dealing with the censorship and prohibition of indecent or obscene pictures, books, magazines and videos is contained in the Censorship of Publications Acts, 1929-1946 and the Video Recordings Acts, 1989 and 1992. The main powers conferred by the legislation on the Garda regarding the search for and seizure of indecent or obscene pictures, books, magazines and videos are as follows:

Censorship of Publications Acts, 1929-1946

(a) Section 17 of the Censorship of Publications Act, 1946 permits the Garda to apply for a search warrant where there is reasonable ground for suspecting that there are kept for sale or distribution, any prohibited books or prohibited periodical publications in any specified building, land, premises or other place. The Garda may search for and seize such items.

(b) Section 19 of the Censorship of Publications Act, 1929 provides for the issue of a search warrant by the District [453] Court enabling the Garda to search for and seize indecent pictures.

Video Recordings Act, 1989

The Video Recordings Act, 1989, was enacted to provide for the control and regulation of the supply and importation of video recordings.

Section 25 of the Act provides for the power of search and seizure by the Garda on application to the District Court where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence under this Act has been committed.