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Adams Book Ad Banned

By Tom Deignan

GERRY Adams new memoir A Farther Shore: Ireland’s Long Road to Peace has thus far been politely received in the U.S. But it is causing trouble over in Ireland.

Advertisements for the book have been banned from Irish radio.

The Sinn Fein leader recorded a 20-second ad which was to be broadcast through December 7.

But the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) banned the ads under legislation which prohibits advertisements considered to be for a political end.

In Ireland, rules for political broadcasting are much more strict than in the U.S. Ads deemed “political” are never broadcast on Irish TV and radio.

Still, the fact that Adams was promoting a book led many to believe the ad would pass muster. In the book ad, the Sinn Fein leader says: “This is Gerry Adams. My new book is called Hope and History; (the U.S. Random House title is different) it’s on sale in good bookshops in all 32 counties. It’s the story of the effort to bring about change in this country. It’s the story of the difficult and on-going struggle for peace and justice. That’s Hope and History and this is Gerry Adams. Slán agus beannacht.”

The BCI decided that the ad for a book written by the current leader of a political party was too much. They also noted Adams gave his view of events in which he and his party continued to be involved and that this therefore had a political dimension. They also noted that the ad was voiced by the current leader of a political party.

A spokeswoman for BCI was quoted as saying: “One of the local stations forwarded the presentation for the advertisement to the BCI which offered the view that it was not permissible under the Radio and Television Act, 1988.

“The Act does not permit advertisements which are considered to be for a political end.”

The book’s Irish publisher, Steve McDonogh of Brandon, said the book was a personal memoir of Adams’ involvement in the peace process.

“Banning a straightforward ad for it is a nonsense - a dangerous nonsense. The danger it points up is precisely the kind of danger that is posed by the present Government’s plan to bring in a government-controlled press council,” McDonogh told the Irish Times.

But this is not the first time Adams has run into this problem. Radio advertisements for books by Adams were also banned in 1987 and 1992 under the Broadcasting Act.


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