Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald has welcomed a Dublin hotel's decision to cancel the booking of a child beauty pageant, which was due to take place this weekend.

The pageant was planned for Saturday at the Bracken Court Hotel in Balbriggan, with babies, toddlers and teens due to take part in the beauty contest.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Ms Fitzgerald said that in her opinion the pageants are an inappropriate sexualisation of very young children.

She said: "Obviously all children dress up, play at dressing up - that's quite a contrast to the sort of dressing up that we see in these pageants."

She added: "The amount of heavy make-up, the high shoes, the frilly dresses - inappropriate on a child of three, four or five."