Salman Rushdie makes a surprise appearance at Trinity College Dublin.

Amid tight security writer Salman Rushdie was a surprise speaker at a conference on censorship in Trinity College Dublin.

Salman Rushdie has been living under police protection since 1989 when, in response to alleged blasphemy in his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’,  Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran imposed a fatwa ordering his execution. 

In Dublin to speak at the Light In The Dark conference on censorship, he was also interviewed on 'The Late Late Show' by Gay Byrne.

Earlier, Salman Rushdie had a series of private meetings with President Mary Robinson and political party leaders and representatives. A press conference with the writer was held at The Abbey Theatre with journalists only informed of the location minutes before it began.  

Rushdie told the assembled press that he had received a sympathetic hearing from Tánaiste Dick Spring, during which he sought government support for the international campaign to get his death sentence lifted. He appealed for his situation to be put on the agenda during the forthcoming visit of an Iranian trade mission to Ireland, 

In the way that, at the high point of apartheid, South Africa was obliged to face interrogation about apartheid every time it walked into any room to talk to anybody about anything.  One wants to make sure that Iran is challenged in that way, on this issue, and on the wider issue of its human rights abuses internally. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 January 1993.  The reporter is Cathy Milner.