The Superior General of the Irish Sisters of Charity has said her order would not align itself with other religious orders that have apologised in public for sexual abuse by non-members that took place in their institutions.
Speaking at the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse this morning, Sr Una O'Neill said she was deeply sorry that sexual abuse had taken place at St Joseph's Institution in Kilkenny.
She said other religious orders had apologised in cases where such abuse had been carried out by members of the order.
However, in the case of the Sisters of Charity, it was the abusers - who were not sisters of the order - who were responsible and should apologise.
Five complaints of sexual abuse have been made in relation to St Joseph's Institution in Kilkenny.
Three of these cases were taken to the High Court before the Redress Board was set up.
Damages of €370,000, €300,000 and €75,000 were awarded in these cases, one of which involved the abuser singing the song Nobody's Child while carrying out the abuse.
As these cases were begun before the Redress Board was set up, the State will pay the damages involved.