A report shows 441 children could not be accommodated at a domestic abuse refuge in Galway last year due to lack of space.

The 2017 COPE Galway report also found that children remained in abusive homes over a longer period of time as a direct consequence of the housing crisis.

The report shows that 214 children were supported by the service last year, an increase of 35% on 2016 figures.

62 children were admitted to COPE's domestic abuse refuge and 441 children who sought refuge with their mothers could not be accommodated due to lack of space.

In his keynote address Ombudsman for Children Dr Niall Muldoon said the fact that 441 children could not be accommodated highlighted the demand for the service.

He said nobody was turned away at refuges and emergency accommodation was sought elsewhere as a matter of priority.

Dr Muldoon said there were now close to 4,000 children homeless in this country and their adverse childhood experiences often have detrimental affects in their lives.

Speaking at the launch of the report, COPE Galway Domestic Abuse Service Manager Dr Carol Baumann said that even in a climate of child safeguarding, insufficient attention was paid to emotional and psychological abuse in the home, which can manifest itself not only as violence, but as manipulation, coercion, coaching and control, all of which serve to undermine the mental health of the child.