IFCO Centenary Lecture Series


To mark the Centenary of the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO), the Dublin International Film Festival is partnering with IFCO to present three vibrant and exciting presentations based on documents in the IFCO Collection in the National Archives. 

As part of the Decade of Centenaries, the anniversary also marks the deposit of the remaining IFCO records from the censorship period to the National Archives. These records represent a fascinating insight into cinema exhibition in Ireland and the central role which censorship played in shaping Irish film culture. Three emerging film and media students and early career researchers were selected to review these records and present their findings to the public on their choice topics. 


Fionnuala Parfrey has a background in film and archives. She currently works as a programme manager in the Royal Irish Academy. Fionnuala’s lecture will explore evolving attitudes to sexual and reproductive health in the records if the Irish Film Censor, tracing how films that address the topic of sexual or reproductive health have been censored and classified since the foundation of the Irish Film Censor’s Office in 1923. 

Ciara Whelan is currently studying for her master’s at University College Dublin with plans to pursue her PhD research in crisis masculinity and Irish screen culture in the new academic year. Ciara will be discussing the censorship of imported Hollywood horror cinema in newly independent Ireland in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Analysis of the censorship documents held in the National Archives reveals these films conflicted with the cultivation of a national and homogeneous Catholic sensibility in that early period. 

Rachel Heavey is an artist and PhD student at Trinity College Dublin. In this lecture, Rachel will present a creative exploration of materials held in the IFCO collection, examining the relationship between legislation and culture in co-creating society. 

Introduction and closing piece by Ciarán X. Kissane, Director, Irish Film Classification Office 

Oifig Aicmithe Scannán na hÉireann – The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) is a statutory body established under the aegis of the Department of Justice. It is responsible for examining and certifying all cinema films and DVDs distributed in Ireland that are not otherwise exempt from classification. IFCO also licenses retail and wholesale outlets that sell DVDs. Established on a statutory basis pursuant to the Censorship of Films Act 1923, the role of the Office has been expanded by the various censorship of films acts and the Video Recordings Act, 1989. Its name was changed from Film Censor’s Office to The Irish Film Classification Office in 2008 to reflect its changing role – from censorship to providing age classifications and advice. The IFCO’s decisions are legally binding, and all powers of prohibition remain. The decisions of IFCO are independent and can be appealed to the Classification of Films Appeal Board. 

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  • INFO:Mon 26 Feb / The Complex / 16:30 /