ISPCC: 17 'an appropriate age' for consent

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has said it would be slow to recommend a change in the age of consent from 17 to 16.

It was one of the items on the Government agenda for the final cabinet meeting before Christmas.

An all-party Oireachtas committee recommended the change in 2006.

Lisa Collins from the ISPCC said: "We certainly do feel that 17 is an appropriate age for young people to allow for the maturity needed for young people engaging in sexual activity.

"However we would say that the arguments and rationale being put forward for lowering the age at this point certainly does warrant further discussion."

The Rape Crisis Network of Ireland said it is the wrong time to lower the age of consent as it has not fulfilled its obligations to protect vulnerable children.

Fiona Neary of the Rape Crisis Network said reducing the age of consent would fail vulnerable 17 year olds.

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