On this day 30 years ago the British Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, issued a notice under clause 13 of the BBC Licence and Agreement to the BBC and under section 29) of the Broadcasting Act 1981 to the Independent Broadcasting Authority prohibiting the broadcast of direct statements by representatives or supporters of eleven Irish political and military organisations. The ban prevented the UK news media from broadcasting the voices, though not the words, of ten Irish republican and Ulster loyalist paramilitary groups, these included IRA, INLA, UVF and UDA as well as Sinn Féin.(bizarrely enough it did not include Ian Paisley’s DUP).
The Government’s notice on Northern Ireland broadcasting restrictions came into force on 19 October 1988 after an escalation in paramilitary violence over the preceding summer months.
Home Secretary Hurd, told the Commons that the ban was being instituted because ‘the terrorists themselves draw support and sustenance from access to…
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