Child abuse survivors' group One in Four has welcomed the appointment of Seán Ryan as the head of the Commission of Inquiry into Child Abuse.

One in Four Director Colm O'Gorman said that while the group had called for a person of 'international standing' to be appointed, they are pleased with Ryan's appointment.

The group has had recent experience of Ryan's work as senior counsel to the Ferns Inquiry, and was impressed by his 'professionalism and direct approach'.

Mr O'Gorman also urged the Govt to make public all proposals for the reform of the Commission, and to ensure that any review is as transparent as possible.

The Minister for Education, Noel Dempsey, said Mr Ryan will be made a High Court Judge to guarantee that the integrity and independence of the chairperson will be maintained.

Mr Dempsey announced the Government's decision while unveiling the foundation stone for the National Maritime College in Cork Harbour.

Controversy over Laffoy resignation

He and the cabinet have been embroiled in controversy since Ms Justice Laffoy announced recently she would be resigning soon because the Government had failed to adequately resource her Commission's investigation into abuse in institutions.

She also protested against ministers launching an open-ended review of her work saying if she went along with it, she would be completely abrogating her independence.

Mr Ryan prepared guidelines for the last coalition on compensation to be paid to claimants to the Residential Institutions Redress Board, which is running parallel with, but separately from, the Laffoy Commission.

He has also acted as counsel to the inquiry into abuse in the Catholic diocese of Ferns.

The Government has asked Mr Ryan to undertake his own independent review of the Laffoy Commission immediately, and to recommend how it can properly investigate within a reasonable time complaints brought before it by victims without incurring exorbitant costs.

He is to report within eight weeks, around the time Justice Laffoy is expected to step down.