Wednesday 29 January 2020

Secrets of the X, and sex factors revealed

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