Coinciding with the release today of Pearl Harbor, Irish Film Censor Sheamus Smith has issued two new audience classifications for films released in Ireland - PG12 and PG15.

Pearl Harbor is the first film to be certified PG12, suitable for an audience of twelve years and older, and for those under that age provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Film Censor has also removed the words 'Film Censor' from beneath his signature on the certificate

screened before films, preferring the less value-laden form in the Irish language 'Scrudaitheoir na Scannan', meaning inspector or examiner of films.

The new classifications replace the long-standing 'PG', and the '12s' and '15s' age-related limits, and 'transfer the responsibility to parents' according to Smith who has been Film Censor for fifteen years.

The standard Irish classifications will now be: G (for a general audience of all ages); PG12 (as above); PG15 (for an audience of fifteen years of age and older, and for those under that age provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian); and 18 (for an audience of eighteen years or older). Films already on release with the old classifications have been issued the corresponding new certificates.

The Irish Film Censor operates with a significant degree of discretion under legislation dating back to 1923. In the past films have been certified for exhibition only within a geographically defined area, and the present Censor was able to limit the exhibition of Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ to audiences who watched the film in its entirety, thereby hoping to

address the considerable disquiet about a scene early in the film which he felt ought not to be seen out of context. By contrast the age rating of video releases is set out in legislation dating from the late 1980s.