The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children says there was an increase of 72% in the number of calls to its Childline telephone service last year.

The ISPCC has described the rise as alarming and distressing.

The organisation says there was a significantly high number of calls about sexual issues, reflecting a worrying trend of confusion among young people.

More than 750,000 calls were made to Childline last year, but four out of five had to go unanswered because of a lack of resources.