The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse has been told that some boys absconded or attempted to run away from St Joseph's Industrial School at Ferryhouse in Clonmel because they were being abused.

The commission was hearing evidence from Fr Joseph O'Reilly, head of the Rosminian Institute who had responsibility for the school until 2002.

Earlier, counsel for the Rosminians asked if counselling could be provided for survivors of abuse attending the public hearings.

Hearings were disrupted yesterday on a number of occasions by two past pupils who strongly disagreed with the evidence given.

Inquiry chairman Mr Justice Sean Ryan said today that although counselling is available for witnesses, there was no such system for others attending the hearing.

However, he said outside the hearing many avenues are open to people seeking counselling.