Emily O'Reilly has secured a second term as the European Ombudsman following a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The former Irish Ombudsman, who secured 320 votes in the secret ballot, faced a tough battle to retain her position with a strong challenge from Estonian Judge Julia Laffranque.

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints from citizens, EU residents and EU-based organisations about poor administration by EU institutions.

The ombudsman's office reports back to the European Parliament each year.

During her time in office, Ms O’Reilly has launched a series of investigations, including one into the promotion of Jean Claude Junker's Chief of Staff Martin Selmayr to Secretary General of the commission.

A report by Ms O'Reilly found that the commission had breached its own guidelines in making the appointment.

Ms O'Reilly's victory has been welcomed by a number of Irish MEPs.

European Commissioner Phil Hogan congratulated Ms O'Reilly and said it was a sign of the recognition of her work over the past number of years.