The Health Service Executive has launched an investigation into concerns regarding a boarding school in Co Cork.

It is understood the inquiry is focused on identifying children who may currently be at risk.

The inquiry is into matters relating to the protection and welfare of children at the school at Carraig Na Bhfear, while it was operating under the aegis of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart says it has received five complaints within the past month in addition to those which prompted the inquiry.

At its invitation, the church-founded National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church is auditing all files relating to all allegations of child sexual abuse that the Order has received and the way in which the Congregation has responded to these allegations.

In a statement this evening, the HSE's National Director for Children and Families, Gordon Jeyes, appealed for anyone with information or a concern in relation to the school to contact gardaí.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter have both welcomed the HSE’s announcement.

The ministers said none of those against whom allegations have been made are currently involved in any work or activities that may bring them into contact with children.

An investigation by the Garda Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit is also under way.

A spokesperson for Minister Fitzgerald said she has met with Mr Jeyes and discussed the issues involved.