Wednesday 29 January 2020

Secrets of the X, and sex factors revealed

with her
comments in
the Dail
Michelle Mulherin raised eyebrows with her comments in the Dail about 'fornication'

- I read the Irish Independent with interest and a little confusion this week, learning some curious things.

Never mind the Third Secret of Fatima, according to a new biography, of music mogul Simon Cowell, the secret of the 'X-Factor' is out.

The mysterious source of the irresistible sparkle in the twinkling eyes of the pop Svengali is regular "colonic irrigation."

Well, I suppose it is a case of whatever you are having yourself, in this telegenic age.

But what really blew the fuse board off the back-wall in my fried brain was the comments made by Michelle Mulherin about "fornication".

I remember Bernadette Devlin saying in July 1971: "My morals are a private matter. There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents, if the term is to be used at all."

I felt myself spinning back in time to another dark era, when chants like "get your Rosary beads off my ovaries", assailed the air.

Our public representatives in the Dail have a proud history of keeping us retiring types at the cutting edge of sexual experimentation.

I recall the one and only Oliver J Flanagan opining in the Dail on March 10, 1971: "It is popular in . . . Europe to talk of sex, divorce and drugs; these things are foreign in Ireland and to Ireland and we want them kept foreign."

I think we can safely say we lost that battle, as Ms Mulherin's fornication comments will confirm.

However, we were not always so certain of our standing, if you will. I also vividly recall the always pure, and effortlessly wholesome Jack Lynch, commenting on plans for legislative reform in May 1971.

He made this telling observation: "I would not like to leave contraception on the long finger too long." No, indeed.

Ed Toal Galway City

Irish Independent

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