A woman who was in institutional care from the age of two until she was 21 is suing the State, the Order of Mercy and Archbishop Neary of Tuam.

Dolores Faulkner, who was convicted of begging at the age of two in Dublin city and ordered to be detained at an industrial school until the age of 16, was in fact unlawfully detained there until she was 21, the High Court was told.

Edward Walshe SC said she was then sent to a nursing school in England by the Mercy nuns and remained under their dominion and had her life to all intents and purposes destroyed by abuse.

Mr Walshe said that at the age of 61, Ms Faulkner, with an address in Longford town, is still affected by trauma and upset as a result of the degrading and offensive conduct and the physical, sexual and emotional harm deliberately and constantly inflicted on her.

At Mr Walshe's request, Mr Justice Daniel Herbert adjourned the case, which had been due to start today, so that further matters could be put in evidence.

When Counsel for the defendants applied for their costs arising from the adjournment, the judge said that would be decided later.