A woman whose two sons were murdered by their father is calling for more State supports for those who have lost family members through domestic violence.

Kathleen Chada was speaking at a Women's Aid event which heard that almost 17,000 disclosures of abuse against women and almost 900 threats to kill by men were reported to them last year.

Ten-year-old Eoin and five-year-old Ruairi Chada from Co Carlow were killed by their father Sanjeev in 2013.

Their bodies were found in the boot of his crashed car in Westport in Co Mayo.

Sanjeev is currently serving two life sentences for their murder.

Ms Chada told the Women's Aid Conference - 'Femicide Watch 2019’ - that there is a lack of official support for victims of domestic violence.

She said in the aftermath of the murders of her sons she had to arrange and pay for counselling, funerals and the legal issues she was left to deal with including getting a divorce from her husband.

While she praised the help she received from gardaí, her family and community she said none of this was official and any assistance she did receive was "piecemeal".

She said a Government agency, under the remit of the Department of Justice should be established to assist victims of domestic violence.

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Ms Chada also said that while her husband was being closely monitored by various state agencies after the murders, "nobody knocked on my door to ask 'Kathleen are you ok'."

In 2018, Women's Aid received 16,994 disclosures of abuse against women and almost 3,728 disclosures of child abuse.

There were also over 898 reports of a man telling a woman he would kill her, their children, a family member, or himself.

The conference was told that five women have died violently so far this year. Four of them were killed in their own home.

Over 230 women have been killed and 16 children have died alongside their mothers since Women's Aid records began in 1996. 90% of those women were killed by a man known to them.

56% were killed by a current or former boyfriend, husband or partner.

The conference was told how Ireland is failing to put in place the best strategies to protect those who are at high risk of domestic violence.

Sarah Benson, CEO of Women’s Aid, said the introduction of Domestic Homicide Reviews that are properly legislated for and resourced would help give support to those bereaved by domestic violence.