Ireland 'out of touch' with rest of Europe
Published 25/07/2011 | 05:00
UNDER Irish law, the age of consent is 17 and sex with anyone younger than that is illegal.
This is one of the highest in Europe with most other countries setting it at 16 or 15 years.
However, Spain has the lowest age of consent at just 13 years of age.
The previous government had been in the process of lowering the legal age to 16, saying the current law was out of touch with the modern reality of sexual relationships between young people.
But it is unclear if the Coalition will take up the baton on this controversial issue.
Fine Gael has previously pledged its support to maintain the age at 17 while Labour is in favour of a reduction to 16.
There is no minimum age at which contraceptives can be sold to young people. However, pharmacists are legally entitled to refuse to supply them to those aged under 17.