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No sex vow by organisers of erotic festival to be held at Narrow Water

By Michael McHugh

Published 10/07/2015

Narrow Water Castle near Warrenpoint
Narrow Water Castle near Warrenpoint
Sir William Hall

Organisers of an erotic festival in Northern Ireland have said there will be no public nudity or public sexual activity.

Bliss Ireland said the event at Narrow Water Castle in Co Down would also be alcohol and drugs-free.

The plans have been criticised by one of the castle's trustees.

Bliss Ireland tweeted: "There is no public nudity nor sexual activity at the Bliss Festival and all our events are strictly over-18 and alcohol and drug free.

"Having the Bliss Festival alcohol and drug-free is really important, it allows those in addiction recovery to attend - important in Ireland. It is truly a beautiful event, more about intimacy, connection and relationship than what is being portrayed. Consent is a fundamental cornerstone of what we do at Bliss Festival."

A "sexual freedom" event including hot tubs, massage, rituals, performances and ceremonies is proposed next month in the grand grounds overlooking Carlingford Lough.

Former Lord Lieutenant of County Down and one of the venue's trustees, Sir William Hall, has voiced outrage at the prospect.

Bliss Ireland said it hired the venue intending to promote sexual health and pleasure in mind, body and spirit and added that any sex acts would be private.

The Bliss Ireland website said: its events aim to foster and promote sexual freedom, health and pleasure in mind, body and spirit.

"The summer festival offers workshops, talks, presentations, performances, rituals, ceremonies, massage and other wellness experiences, delicious food, art, entertainment and much more at a venue immersed in natural beauty for approximately 400 people - all over the age of 18 are welcome irrespective of sexual orientation, gender, relationship status, religious or spiritual beliefs or practices, ability and age.

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