The newly-independent Irish state threw itself with heroic energy into banning anything that would undermine its leaders' sense of what the nation should be. That sense was very, very narrow, catholic, conservative, anti-sex and anti-cosmopolitan. My father wrote a very popular series, The Kennedys of Castleross, for Irish radio beginning in the 1950s, and there were certain subjects that simply could not be mentioned. Pregnancy, for instance, despite it's being a subject which which most Irish families were readily and frequently familiar. But on the radio, it was only to be broached by implication. E.g., "I've just been to see the doctor." "What did he say?" "Well ..." "You're not! You are? How wonderful!!!" Cue music.
Dermot Breen, appointed in 1972, was a man of the cinema, having founded the Cork Internaitonal Film Festival. He banned Pasolini's Decameron, Ken Russell's The Devils, Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and Fellini's Roma. (To be fair, at the time many of these ran into censorship trouble elsewhere, including in the UK.) Like Brennan, his piety also found some film depictions of catholicism troubling, a sentiment that influenced his official actions. Yet Breen's period as censor was considered to be an improvement on those of his predecessors, and it probably was. It took until 1992 for a year to pass in which no film was cut or banned by the Irish state.
Irish nazi thing a couple of times before, and said I'd return to it, this time just in passing. A small Dublin pleasure during the short Irish summer is to sit in St Stephen's Green park at lunchtime and listen to the Army No. 1 Band. The music is mellow and good-natured, and, as befits the representatives of a very small army, does not seem to prefigure a massive fire attack by squadrons of helicopter gunships. The first officer to command the Irish army school of music, through which the band was organized, was Wilhelm Fritz Brase, who had been a leading bandmaster in the imperial German army and the Berlin police. He was very effective, recruiting performers, giving recitals, getting involved in the early days of radio broadcasting and training enough musicians that he was able to create three further bands. (I wasn't able to find examples of Brase's own compositions, which included six fantasias on Irish themes, but I did uncover a recording that he conducted of German military music before he moved to Ireland, which is quite jolly, as well as his official arrangement of the Irish national anthem, performed by the Army band - don't forget to stand when you listen to it.) The nazi party's overseas organization, the auslandsorganisation, invited him to be chairman of its Irish branch, but the army refused him permission to do so. Hitler did, however, confer on him the honorific title of Professor. Fritz Brase died in 1940. Whatever else he stood for, he did a great job on the Army band, for which I thank him.