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USI chief, Longford's Siona Cahill, welcomes condom plan

Longford native elected President of Union of Students Ireland

USI President, Siona Cahill

Vending machines could be used to dispense free condoms in a drive to reduce crisis pregnancies and promote sexual health.

The HSE is seeking to provide 'at risk' groups and college students with free condoms.

Longford's Siona Cahill, who is President of the USI has welcomed the idea.

"It’s imperative that we promote safe sexual health and wellbeing, using whatever means we can," she told the Longford Leader today.

"This is a welcome move by the HSE, and it doesn’t just apply to young people and students, but anyone who is sexually active. We constantly underestimate the need for sexual health education across all groups - and normalising the use of protection and how to use it is the way forward."

Síona sits on the departmental steering group set up by Minister Mitchell O’Connor targeting sexual consent on third level campuses, due to report in the new year. The Union of Students in Ireland is calling for a revised sexual health education curriculum for second level as well as consent education, in the form of workshops at orientation for third level students.

“When we talk about healthy sexual relationships at any age, it needs to focus on two key things - being safe (using protection correctly) and ensuring there is informed, enthusiastic, active and ongoing consent,” she concluded.

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