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25th Sep 2016

Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ might not be shown in Ireland over blasphemy law fears

This is serious...

Paul Moore

Bad news could be on the way.

It’s looking increasingly that Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie will not be getting a release in Ireland due to blasphemy laws.

Graham Spurling, the owner of at Movies@Dundrum, Movies@Swords, Movies@Gorey and SGC Dungarvan, informed us that as things stand, distributors aren’t willing to screen the film because Ireland’s blasphemy laws do not not offer them any protection from potential litigation.

Spurling informs us that he hoped to do the LIVE Q&A event on Oct 10 but legislation these placed these plans in serious jeopardy.

The main act of contention is The Defamation Act of 2009. Under this piece of legislation, any publication or utterance of blasphemous matter” against any religion is an offence and carries a fine of €25,000 (£21,600).

Altitude Films are distributing the film in the UK but at the present moment, there’s no Irish distributor.

There is a loophole in the act though which allows for the screening of any work that has “genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value”,  but for the reasons mentioned previously, distributors are worried that they might be found to be in breach of this legislation.

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