'Use condoms' at Christmas

Individuals have been warned to make sure they use condoms and not risk their sexual health over the festive period.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, acting director of the Crisis Pregnancy Programme Dr Stephanie O'Keefe explained that each January there is a rise in the number of women coming to clinics.

She added that during the Christmas season people are more likely to take risks and so "it's important that condoms and other types of contraception are planned for, if there's a chance they might be needed".

Imeda McHugh, psychotherapist at St Patrick's University Hospital, told the publication that alcohol can often affect people's choices and drinking less could help reduce the chances of making irresponsible decisions.

Staff at the Crisis Pregnancy Programme have been handing out Think Contraception protection packs.

In comparison with the UK, the age of sexual consent in Ireland is 17 for both sexes, while it is 16 in Britain.