The amount of claims being dealt with by the residential institutions' redress scheme is almost twice the amount originally estimated by the State.

The Comptroller and Auditor General John Purcell told the Public Accounts Committee this morning that so far 3,900 claims for compensation have been received.

Representatives of the religious orders are appearing voluntarily before the committee to try to shed light on the background to the State's decision to cap the contribution of the religious to the scheme at €127 million.