'Like something out of a porno movie': Furious Catholics call into radio show discussing Normal People
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'Like something out of a porno movie': Furious Catholics call into radio show discussing Normal People

THE TV adaption of Sally Rooney's acclaimed novel Normal People aired on Irish television earlier this week, and not everyone agreed with the raving reviews it's been getting.

The novel and show depicts the intense but complicated relationships between two young Irish people, from the secret relationship which begins while the pair are in Leaving Cert year, through college and their young adult life.

While it has been praised by many for its authentic, if not at times uncomfortable, glimpse into the lives of young Irish people-- from depression and anxiety to peer pressure, love, sex, consent, abuse and the notion of self-worth-- some viewers found the show to be nothing more than "something out of a porno movie".

RTÉ's radio show Liveline, hosted by Joe Duffy, yesterday introduced the TV adaption of Normal People as a subject on the show, and immediately some less-than-impressed callers got on the line.

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Mary said she watched the first episode after seeing it advertised on RTÉ but it was nothing like she was expecting, instead describing it as "something you would expect to see in a porno movie".

"It's filthy and I won't be watching the rest of it," Another caller, Clara, said.

Clara, who is a married adult, said it was disturbing that the show depicted 17-year-olds having sex, saying "A 17-year-old is a child and shouldn't be having sex".

She described the show as unrealistic, saying "A 17 year old driving? A 17 year old in pubs? Ah, come on".

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Her comments drew laughter from others listening into the show, with one person questioning if she was Irish or had even been to Ireland, and others pointed out that the conversation proved that Catholic Ireland was alive and well.

Another caller, self-proclaimed Catholic Tommy, said the show was "immoral" and "promoting fornication" and that he "wouldn't like a daughter of mine to be engaging in sexual promiscuity before she was married".

Presenter Joe Duffy challenged Tommy on his views, saying it's always the girls who get shamed for promiscuity. When Tommy denied this, Joe asked him "What's the male equivalent of a slut?"

"A dickhead," Tommy replied.

Despite the fury of some of the callers, other callers-- and hundreds on social media-- were defending the show and its contents.

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One woman, Mary McGill, wrote on Twitter that "sex is many things but it is not a sin and it is not shameful.

"That kind of thinking destroyed so many lives in this country.

"Time to grow up and divest ourselves of it. Young people in particular deserve better."

A clip of the heated debate can be seen in a recap from RTÉ below.

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You can listen to the full segment, which had opinions from people on both sides of the debate, here.

Normal People airs on RTÉ at 10pm this Tuesday.

All episodes are available to watch on BBC iPlayer and Hulu.