Irish investigation against Sex Pistols revealed

Punks were a cause for official concern in 1978

The Sex Pistols were once considered such a threat to the fabric of Irish society that legal action was considered at the highest levels, it has emerged.

State papers released yesterday reveal how the band were targeted in a 1978 investigation aimed at protecting the country’s Catholic morals.

Law enforcers the Garda Síochána were particularly concerned by the title and content of their album ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’.

According to the Guardian, an official garde memo questioned whether the band’s debut broke the country’s once rigid censorship laws. It read: “The title on the sleeve… would indicate that the contents of the record is obscene.”

On referral to Ireland’s censorship board, the Irish Deputy Assistant Chief State Solicitor suggested that the album might contravene the Indecent Advertisements Act, which could have resulted in a fine for any record stores carrying it.”

But the officer advised the garda to be lenient: “However, the penalty on conviction cannot exceed IR£2 and in all circumstances you may feel that prosecution is not called for.”

In the end, the threat was not carried out after Virgin Records successfully defended a British obscenity charge.

To receive the latest news updates every week – plus free MP3s, videos and more – sign up to the NME Newsletter.

[a]