A report on the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy has found that almost four out of five people believe the Church has not dealt adequately with the problem.

It also says abused people and their families reported a lack of awareness by the Church of the effects of the abuse, and that the handling of complaints often lacked compassion.

But roughly the same majority felt that priests in general had been unfairly judged as a result of the recent spate of scandals.

The survey also found that just under half the hierarchy were satisfied with their handling of allegations.

The survey, in which almost 1,300 people took part, was commissioned by the Irish Bishops' Conference and was carried out by the psychology department of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.