The Ombudsman for Children says 2020 was a "devastating" year for Irish children.
Dr Niall Muldoon says he's worried potential abuse of young people may have been missed due to the pandemic.
The office's annual report shows 1,187 complaints were made to the Ombudsman last year, with the number of calls from children doubling.
Education accounted for almost half of all complaints.
Dr Muldoon says the Government failed to prioritise children during the pandemic:
“The pandemic was never predictable and it hit us all very hard but for children and young people I think what happened was they weren’t first and foremost in the Government’s mind,” he said.
“Many of the decisions that were made were not necessarily with children to the fore.
“They were hit with things like remote learning; there was a digital divide that was exposed; the lack of clarity about exams, the mental health impact on children.
“We made things worse as a society by starting to fear children and young people as carriers of the disease.”
Main Image: Children's Ombudsman Dr Niall Muldoon. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie