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TG4 Screening of ‘Cosc Ar Ghneas/A Ban On Sex’
21 Feb 2005 :

‘Cosc Ar Ghneas/A Ban On Sex’, a new sex documentary from Louis Marcus productions, will be screened on TG4 this weekend, February 26, at 9.05 p.m.

The programme begins in 1940’s Ireland, Ireland banned as indecent and obscene two hilarious classics that sprang from Gaelic culture - Frank O’Connor’s The Midnight Court, a translation of Brian Merriman’s sexual satire Cúirt an Mheán Oíche, and The Tailor and Ansty Eric Cross’s portrait of an earthy West Cork couple.

The filmmakers investigate what was so shocking about these two books at the time? How did the frank and amused attitude to sex of the Gaelic tradition become the puritanism of the new Irish state? And now, 200 years after the death of Merriman, is today’s sexual climate of clubbing, lap-dancing and pornography a liberation or a plunge into decadence?

A number of expert opinions are expressed throughout the programme with Angela Bourke (UCD), Prof Declan Kiberd (UCD), Dr Máire Ní Annracháin (Maynooth), Dr Máirín Nic Eoin (St Patrick’s), Prof Gearóid Ó Crualaoich (UCC), Liam P Ó Murchú (UCC) and Dr Alan Titley (St Patrick’s) among the interviewees.

Though these two books are prized for their comic qualities, they raise serious issues that are still very real in Ireland: bribery and corruption, women’s rights, marriage breakdown, clerical celibacy (or its absence), children outside wedlock, media sensationalism, and the thin line between frankness and pornography.

Extracts from Merriman’s Rabelaisian Cúirt an Mheán Oíche are brought to life with vivid illustrations by artist Brian Coldrick, and with English subtitles drawn from Frank O’Connor’s banned translation. The bawdy fun of The Tailor and Ansty is captured in clips from an archival RTÉ production featuring the late Eamon Kelly and Maura O’Sullivan.

‘Cosc Ar Ghneas/A Ban On Sex’, is a Louis Marcus Production for TG4 and Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board.

TG4 Saturday February 26, at 9.05 p.m.



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