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Friday 22 September 2017

James Reilly orders HSE review into Spunout website over ‘threesomes’ article

Minister for Health Dr James Reilly
Minister for Health Dr James Reilly

A WEBSITE partly-funded by the state that gives young people information about group sex is to be reviewed, health minister James Reilly has announced.

Mr Reilly said the HSE would be reviewing the mental health website for young people SpunOut.ie following the article that promotes “threesomes”

“I’ve been on to the HSE this morning about this and they are aware of the problem and they are going to review it,” he said today.

The group gets €124,000 from the HSE annually – about 30pc of its overall funding.

“I don’t think that’s an appropriate use of public money,” Mr Reilly said.

“From my personal point of view as a doctor as well as a politician I just think this is not the appropriate sort of information that the State should be putting out there,” he added.

Over the weekend SpunOut.ie spokesman Ian Power said the article, which was posted on the website at least three years ago but which has only been highlighted now, was written by a former editor – an American woman who had "liberal views on sex".

The site said it doesn't promote threesomes but "arms young people with the facts about them".

Fine Gael Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin said there was "nothing right" about the website offering advice to users as young as 16 such as: "Threesomes are pretty exciting things. People usually really enjoy them."

And she questioned the state funding of SpunOut.ie calling on whoever sanctioned the funding to be brought before an Oireachtas Joint Committee to answer questions.

SpunOut’s website attracted 12 times as much traffic as it normally would over the weekend, he added.

SpunOut said it also received €220,000 from Atlantic Philanthropies, a foundation backed by US businessman Chuck Feeney, and smaller donors. The group’s funding is each year reviewed by the HSE and Atlantic Philanthropies.

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