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‘Normal People’ is about two teenagers falling in love – and nothing to do with pornography

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Loving couple: Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal star in the new RTÉ 1 drama series ‘Normal People’

Loving couple: Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal star in the new RTÉ 1 drama series ‘Normal People’

Loving couple: Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal star in the new RTÉ 1 drama series ‘Normal People’

Normally people nowadays don't get their knickers in a twist over a sex scene - but 'Normal People', which aired on RTÉ One this week, certainly drew out the sex bashers who gave Joe Duffy an earful on 'Liveline'.

One person thought it was "like something out of a porno".

Perhaps he should be made to watch one in order to appreciate how tasteful and real the scenes in 'Normal People' were, as opposed to the grotesque fakery portrayed in the "adult movie world".

The word "fornication" was thrown around also, an archaic lazy word with negative connotations where sex is something we should feel guilty about, something dirty.

Have we not moved on from that?

Teenagers, in this case Leaving Cert students, being sexually active is nothing new, I'm quite sure.

Some are, some are not, and that is the way of it.

Parents wishing to stick their heads in the sand might benefit from some open conversation with their children instead of pretending that the wearing of a school uniform and parental expectations can somehow quell the inevitable hormones and desire that adolescence brings.

Anyone who has read Sally Rooney's novel or indeed watched the first two episodes on Tuesday night should appreciate it is really about love, a love between two people that is messy and real, challenging, complicated and imperfect.

And what, may I ask, is wrong with that?

Róisín Keegan

Castlebar, Co Mayo

R value tumbles but no end in sight for lockdown

At the start of the latest shutdown measures there was much talk about the R value (rate of infection).

We were told the restrictions would not be eased until the R value was less than 1. It was at the time the single most important issue needed so that restrictions could be eased.

This made sense as of course - if one infected person was infecting less than one other person, the rate would have to be on the way down. At the moment, we are told the R value is 0.5 to 0.7.

We are bombarded with figures by Dr Tony Holohan and his team every day but, notwithstanding any other figures, how can cases not be falling if the R value is less than 1? If the R value is less than 1, surely everything else must be getting better?

The R value seems to be of little importance now and restrictions are still looming unlikely to be eased to any great degree.

Richard Gypps

Address with editor

Covid-19 is not the only killer stalking Ireland

Ian O'Doherty (Irish Independent, April 28) has his finger on the pulse and has diagnosed precisely the current condition of our population and country when he says that it is "emotionally unbearable for the people" and "simply unsustainable for the Exchequer" to maintain lockdown beyond May 5.

With healthy citizens under house arrest, businesses destroyed and many left vulnerable to domestic and sexual abuse and severe mental stress, the heart and soul of the country is being killed.

The irony is not lost on me that those who are now pleading with us to save lives were the ones who did blatantly dismiss the right to life of our unborn citizens just two years ago.

The 10,000 innocent deaths a year in Ireland are not being given the same gravitas as those dying with Covid-19, but we as a nation are now paying a huge price for allowing the former and in trying to prevent the latter.

On current performance, progress has to be made on both fronts.

Helena Byrne

Bunclody, Co Wexford

Disunited Cabinet shows need for unity government

The Taoiseach described that a "diversity of views" emerged for the first time at last Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. ('The Cabinet 'hawks' and 'doves' who decide the next steps', Irish Independent, April 30).

Various ministers' (some of whom are not now elected TDs) views are clearly stated, giving an insight into the present disunity, with some views driven by fear or other motives.

One would have thought the ministers would focus on protecting the lives of citizens as opposed to kick-starting the economy. The insights provided indicate the need for a national unity, non-partisan government.

Hugh McDermott

Dromahair, Co Leitrim

Wonderful tributes to Dr and Mrs Herrema

My family and I were saddened on hearing the news of the passing of both Dr Tiede and his wife Elisabeth Herrema and would like to compliment Tom Brady and Gabija Gataveckaite on their wonderful articles on the famous kidnapping.

My grandfather was former Garda Commissioner Larry Wren, who at the time of the kidnapping was chief superintendent of security and led the security operations in the case.

I had the privilege of meeting Dr Herrema and his wife when they were over for a reception held in the Department of Foreign Affairs for the 30th anniversary of the kidnapping.

He told me how much of a reassuring voice my grandfather was to him during the whole traumatic event and to quote the man, "he was my friend before I even met him". They remained good friends for the rest of their lives.

Michael McConville

Dunboyne, Co Meath

Prayer will do millions of us the power of good

During these weeks of the coronavirus, the question uppermost in people's minds is, "When will this be over?"

What can we do in the meantime? We can pray. Each evening before the 6pm news, the Angelus bell rings out on our TVs. It could be a clarion call to prayer - every day by everyone across this island.

Prayer is a power and the effect of millions of people focused and praying together is incalculable. And it is something that we all can do. T

Sr Monica Shanley

Balbriggan, Dublin

No emerging from our cocoons like butterflies

I can survive the lockdown so long as I don't have to listen to "experts" repeating what we have been listening to for weeks on end for hours on end.

Simon Harris telling us how great we are except for a few very bold people breaking curfew.

Leo teasing us with a relaxation of the lockdown when he has already decided we are doomed to a continuation of ennui.

People talking about cocooning when we will emerge from our cocoon into years of depression - unlike the caterpillar who emerges as a butterfly.

Why should people of any age who live in the country have a 2km or 5km limit when they could walk 10km without meeting anyone and easily distance five metres from anyone they might meet?

What is so irritating is that so many of the deaths have been inflicted by the health service dumping vulnerable persons into nursing homes from hospitals that already had the virus.

Eamon Ward

Co Wexford

Government should have stopped Italian flights

Colette Browne is right to remind the Government of its responsibility in this crisis ('Blame for extending lockdown lies more with State's response than a selfish public', Irish Independent, April 29). There is one point that I would like to add to her analysis.

In early March, the spread of Covid-19 was so severe major sporting events were being called off, including Ireland's rugby match with Italy, while the number of active cases there numbered in the thousands. The Government continued to let in daily flights. It was only when the Italian government implemented a total lockdown that the flights stopped.

There was more than enough information available at that time to see the risk but the Government, inexcusably, did nothing.

The people of Ireland have shown more than enough resolve, the problem was that too much was expected of them. The responsibility for that lies squarely with the Government.

Dermot Dorgan

Blackrock, Dublin

Irish Independent