Updated: 17/05/18 : 06:50:20
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Govt defeated as digital age of consent raised to 16

The digital age of consent has been raised to 16.

Last night, the Government was defeated on its proposal for the age of digital consent to remain at 13.

TDs instead voted in favour of a Fianna Fáil and Labour amendment to set the age at 16, which was passed by 56 votes to 51.

Children's right groups had previously called plans to raise the age of consent "very concerning".

Government sources said that 15 Fine Gael TDs were absent because they were attending committees, adding that 21 representatives from Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Labour were also missing.

There was opposition from groups including the ISPCC, Children's Rights Alliance, SpunOut.ie and Barnardo's.

In a joint statement, the organisations said the move "will create significant risks to child safety, will not be enforceable and will remove the onus from industry to protect the children availing of their services".