Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has accused the Government of "stonewalling" survivors of child abuse with a too narrow interpretation of a European Court ruling that is preventing hundreds of them from accessing redress.

A group of survivors from Limerick and Cork went to Leinster House today to canvass support from opposition TD's.

The men were all sexually abused as children by Christian Brothers in their primary schools.

They are not eligible for a Government redress scheme because they cannot prove that there was a prior complaint made to the authorities about their abuser.

This is a requirement of the Government's redress scheme for survivors of abuse in primary schools, introduced as a result of a European Court of Human Rights ruling that the State did bear responsibility for abuse that went on in schools in Ireland.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Martin said he believed the requirement of a prior complaint was "bogus", based on an incorrect interpretation of the European Court ruling.

He said he had consulted with legal opinions and the Government's interpretation did not stand up to analysis.

Mr Martin said the Government was "stonewalling" and that victims were suffering as a result.

The Department of Education has said its legal advice is that the European Court of Human Rights found that the State had liability only where there was a prior complaint against the abuser in question, and where the case was not statute barred.

It said this was the State's consistent legal advice.