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Ireland To Lift Ban on Religious Advertising

The Irish government is preparing to lift a decades-old ban on TV and radio religious advertising, according to Communications Minister Dermot Ahern.

The ban was enacted at a time when religious issues were more contentious and divisive, Ahern said on Thursday as he announced a public consultation process on the issue. The move follows a recent challenge to the ban at the European Court of Human Rights, which is preparing to deliver its verdict early next year.

Ahern said the consultation process would be a prelude to a decision by him on whether to repeal the ban. He said, "The consultation will be open to all interested parties-- the churches, broadcasters and the general public. Among factors to be considered will be the finding of the European Court of Human Rights."

He continued, "It is important to say that in the event of a repeal of the ban, all religious advertising would come under the remit of the existing codes and standards of broadcasting advertising and sponsorship. New broadcasting standards and codes being drawn up would protect against 'offensive' advertisements in this area."


31 Dec 2002