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Northern Irelandban

A clear case of censorship by government on broadcasting was imposed in Britain on 19 October 1988. It prevented the voices of Northern Ireland terrorists and their supporters from being heard on radio and television, a gag that lasted until after the IRA declared peace very nearly six years later. It became known as ‘The Northern Ireland Ban’, ‘The Broadcasting Ban’, sometimes ‘The Sinn Fein Ban’, in Northern Ireland simply ‘The Ban’. The government said it had to be done because interviews with terrorists and their apologists caused deep offence and spread fear, especially after acts of violence. Broadcasters protested at this ‘damaging precedent’. Foreign interests, notably the Soviet Union, scoffed that it proved BBC claims to independence to be hollow, and proved bias because British broadcasters continued to interview terrorists elsewhere.