There have been 327 court cases involving the sexual defilement of a child over the past decade in Ireland.
According to details released under the Freedom of Information Act, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed 22 cases for prosecution so far this year.
Defilement involves engaging or attempting to engage in a sexual act with a child.
An offence against a child under the age of 15 can carry a sentence of life imprisonment.
The DPP has directed 146 of these cases for prosecution since 2009.
There have been 11 cases sent before the courts so far this year – the same number that was prosecuted last year.
An offence against a child between 15 and 17-years-old carries a jail term of up to ten years.
The DPP has directed 181 of these cases for prosecution since 2009, including 11 this year and 18 last year.
Eve Farrelly, from the Children at Risk in Ireland Foundation (CARI), said there is a huge problem with child sex-abuse in Ireland.
“There is a new kind of wave of sexual abuse that is coming to the children in Ireland, and I suppose all over the world as well, where children are being abused by other children,” she said.
“Children are also being abused by young adults and the abuse can be quite strong; quite significant.”
She said the defilement figures don't show the full extent of the problem in Ireland because child-abusers can face a range of other charges, including the sexual assault or rape of a child.
Reporting from Eoghan Murphy