Colm O'Gorman of the One in Four group has described his meeting with the Taoiseach this afternoon as very amicable and constructive.

He said Bertie Ahern had made it very clear that he acknowledged the sense of disappointment and betrayal which followed the Ferns Report.

Mr O'Gorman said he welcomed this statement, and also acknowledged the work the Taoiseach and the Government had done on the issue of clerical abuse.

Ahern repeats defence of Church's role 

Earlier today, the Taoiseach repeated his defence of the role of the Catholic Church in Irish society, and claimed his comments had been intentionally misinterpreted by some people.

Mr Ahern said his Government had done a huge amount to deal with the issue of clerical abuse, including setting up the Ferns and Dublin inquiries.

He said the legal system had dealt, and would continue to deal, with those who had done wrong, but he said everyone should not be tarred with the one brush.

Mr Ahern said the Catholic Church had done a huge amount for Irish society in areas like health, education and care of the disabled.

Asked if he felt the timing of his remarks had been insensitive, he said it was those who had criticised him who had lacked sensitivity.