Ireland’s most famous agony aunt has warned that young girls nowadays go out dressed “like hookers” and draw problems on themselves.

For decades, Angela McNamara, now 82, was the leading agony aunt in Ireland and her Sunday Press column was read by millions.

Now she is in despair over the way Ireland's youth is headed.

"Any thinking adult today must be deeply concerned about the kind of world in which our young people have to grow up sexually. What are we doing about it?" she asked.

"We are told that there has been a decline in teenage pregnancies. That's not the result of deeper insight or moral control but of an increase in contraceptives available to children."

"Young women go out socially in scanty outfits that advertise the fact that their bodies are available for abuse by men. It is not for children of 12 to 15 to decide to go to discos dressed like hookers. Mother, where are you? Dad?"

She told the Irish Independent "Just as years ago children felt they couldn't talk at home to their parents, it's just as bad today."

McNamara said parents needed to talk to their kids.

"Start at the base point by talking about friendships and then move on from there. Always lead a conversation by asking questions and listening. Find out first what they're thinking.

"They'll start giving you their thoughts and then you can draw them out by asking more questions about what they're saying and they'll gradually start to open up.”