When Walter Macken dedicated his first novel to his Mammy, Agnes, he did not expect the censors to declare it ‘obscene’. How does a social-problem novel by a good Catholic offend the official arbiters of taste?
The scrutiny of the censor was confined to the English language. But works in Irish, the other language of the state, were also censored by editors, bureaucrats and catholic reactionaries. No language was allowed to explore scandalous ‘sex feelings’.