The Minister for Education has said he has no intention of resigning over the Commission on Child Abuse affair.

A prominent survivor of abuse, Christine Buckley, earlier called for him to leave his post, following the resignation of the Commission's chairwoman. Ms Buckley criticised his proposal to investigate only sample allegations of abuse instead of the 1,800 complaints brought against religious.

Speaking on RTÉ News, Minister Noel Dempsey said he proposed a review of the Commission's work because the court cases taken by those accused of abusing children were causing delays.

He said he was concerned that, at the end of a lengthy inquiry, the Commission may have been prevented from publishing its report.

Mr Dempsey earlier insisted that he had discussed his proposed review of its workings with Miss Justice Mary Laffoy before he announced the review yesterday.

Mr Dempsey said he was as surprised as anyone else by Miss Justice Laffoy's resignation but said that while he was aware that she had reservations about the review he had no indication that she was likely to resign.

He said the Government was considering Miss Justice Laffoy's resignation letter and would reply to it in the next week. He said the correspondence would be published in due course.

Minister Dempsey said that his Department had been instructed to cooperate fully with the Laffoy Commission and had provided 500,000 documents to it.

In a statement this evening, the Christian Brothers said they are surprised and concerned at the resignation of Ms Justice Mary Laffoy. They said they hoped the Commission's work would be carried forward in a way which honoured the rights of truth and justice for all concerned.

Earlier, Mr Dempsey said that religious orders had taken an unduly litigious approach to the Commission.

Resignation followed review announcement

Ms Justice Laffoy's resignation came within hours of Mr Dempsey announcing that he was considering asking the commission to investigate only sample allegations against the religious and state which ran and supervised industrial schools.

Since December, the Laffoy Commission has been engaged with the Government in relation to an earlier review of its activities which was designed to get a more effective and efficient delivery of its original mandate: to find out who was responsible for abusing the alleged survivors who asked for such investigations.

The Government has been discussing Ms Justice Laffoy's resignation at its cabinet meeting being held in Co Laois.

Groups react strongly to resignation

Other groups representing victims of child abuse have also reacted strongly to Ms Justice Laffoy's resignation.

Colm O'Gorman, of the group One in Four, called on the Taoiseach to live up to his apology to victims of residential abuse and publish all correspondence relating to the resignation.

However John Kelly, of the Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, welcomed the development and called for an independent body from outside the state to oversee such an inquiry.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has called on the Taoiseach to take on personal responsibility for the work of the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse.