Most victims of the Troubles were offered completely inadequate compensation for the murder of family members, with some receiving as little as £43 (€50) to bury their dead, according to a new report.

The research has been carried out by academics at Queen's University in Belfast.

It was based on a review of 1,000 compensation payments made between 1966 and 1976 - a period during which half the 3,600 victims of the Troubles were killed.

Almost £7m (€8.1m) was paid out in those years, but only loss of income or funeral expenses were covered, there was no payment for bereavement.

Report authors, Professor Luke Moffett and Dr Kevin Hearty, said the level of compensation payment often reinforced the anguish experienced by bereaved families.

"Many families were paid a pittance for the death of their loved ones," Prof Moffett said.

"One mother received £112 after the murder of her two adult sons, a widower whose wife and mother of six was shot dead outside their home was awarded £84 and a father received £43 for his daughter killed in a bomb."

The research found that women were routinely discriminated against and devalued. Relatives of murdered security force members were "discouraged" from claiming, or withdrew their claims.

Compensation was used in several killings by the security forces to settle with victims and avoid cases being taken to the European Court of Human Rights.

The authors found that compensation paid out at the height of the Troubles was "unequal and inadequate". 60% of families got less than £5,000.

There were also large discrepancies in payments, even when several family members were killed in the same incident.

The report says that inadequate compensation schemes were replaced in later years by better ones, but they were not retrospective and did not apply to those who'd already received an award.

The academics say in recent years, civil actions by relatives have resulted in large compensation payments ranging from £75,000 to £625,000.

The UK government's controversial new Legacy Act will shut down similar litigation in the future.

The authors say consideration should be given to a new bereavement payment scheme for those who lost family members to the violence.