The Irish Film Censors Office, has been in existence for over 80 years. The aim of the IFCO, as stated on their website, is to protect young children and young persons, to have regard for freedom of expression, and have respect for the values of Irish society.
The IFCO enforces 6 major types of classifications; G, PG, 12A, 15A, 16 and 18. They work as outlined below:
G: Standing for General. These films should be suitable for children of school age. Any work with this rating should not present any serious issues which could confuse or disturb a child, nor should any serious violence be present. Comedic or "cartoon style" violence is acceptable. Mild and non graphic sexual content can be included, such as kissing.
PG: Any unsupervised child can view a PG film, however, it is strongly recommended that there is parental guidance. Issues such as war may be included, but generally any problems are resolved in a positive manner. Both violence and language cannot go beyond mild and non-explicit, while sexual content is virtually non-existant. Any drug references will be mild.
12A: Suitable for those aged 12 and older. While younger viewers are permitted to watch, a parent or guardian must be present. More mature themes will likely be present, such as those of crime and relationships, however, 12 year olds should be familiar with these activities from television. Violence should be mild and not glamourised, while sexual content is kept low. At appropriate times, brief reference to so called "soft" drugs can be included, but not to "hard" drugs. Swearing is permitted, but on a low scale (ie. in a non-threatening manner).
15A: These films will deal with issues that should be familiar to 15 year old. Younger viewers are permitted to watch, providing they are in the company of a parent or adult guardian. Any violence may be realistic, but not overly gory. Drug related scenes must not be instructional, or promotional. Sexual content is to be only mild, and should generally be shown in a positive manner.
16: Anyone under 16 years of age will not be permitted into a cinema to view any film with this classification. This classification is much the same as 15A, however the themes and content will be at a stronger level.
18: The IFCO operates on a basis that anyone aged 18 or over, should be permitted, within the law of course, to view anything of their own choosing.