About the TV Show
sex education ireland sexual attitudes
Sex & Sensibility
First Air Date: January 01, 0001
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Sex & Sensibility is an RTÉ television series which reflects on changing attitudes to sex in Ireland. The four-part series was presented by Simon Delaney. Directed by Imogen Murphy, it was filmed in April and May 2008 on location in Dublin. It was broadcast in June and July 2008. Features included some commentary from Bill O'Herlihy, Mary O'Rourke, Michael McNiff, Claire Tully, John Kelleher and night club owners Valeria Roe and Maurice Boland. The series reflected on the changes that had taken place in Ireland since the 1960s, an era when the sexual revolution had not yet reached the shores of the island. It showed how television had played a major part in "loosening everyone up" and altered Irish society "from a gloomy 'Irish Taliban'-style theocracy to the nation of fun-loving sex maniacs we are today". Terry Prone demonstrated her view that soaps, rather than "dusty old current affairs programmes", had been central to social change. The Riordans caused scandal when one of the characters, named Maggie, went on the pill. The "contraceptive train" to Belfast was also focused on, evoking memories of an era when the devices were illegal in the Republic of Ireland, prompting people to travel to Northern Ireland to stock up on their contraceptive needs. Also featured was The Late Late Show and the uproar it caused when it gave airtime to a group of lesbian nuns, Bill Hughes, who spoke about the underground gay scene in Ireland, Senator David Norris having his sexuality called into question when he was asked if he was "sick" by a TV presenter, the Leeson Street clubbing scene in its early years and Toni the Exotic Dancer, a housewife from Tallaght, Dublin who flashed her ample bosom for the crowds who thronged the urban pubs after mass. Video of protesters with portable Virgin Mary statues at work outside the RTÉ studios were also shown.