More than 500 children were abused by paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland between 1990 and 2013, according to a report published today.

The report was written by Professor Liam Kennedy from Queen's University in Belfast.

The report reviewed official statistics from the PSNI on "punishment" beatings and shootings meted out following investigations by the paramilitaries themselves.

Prof Kennedy said more than 500 children were punished with improvised weapons, including iron bars, cudgels, hammers, and hurleys.

The report found 94 children were shot by loyalists, while 73 were shot by republicans.

It found that 166 were beaten by loyalists, while republicans were responsible for 178 beatings.

Prof Kennedy has urged TDs to support a Fianna Fáil proposal to go before the Dáil this week to establish a cross-border commission to investigate the sexual abuse of children by paramilitaries.

Fianna Fáil sources told RTÉ News the party accepts Prof Kennedy's call for cases of physical and emotional abuse to be examined by such a commission as well, but in a separate strand of its work.