The report of the commission investigating the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Diocese of Cloyne is expected to be given to the Justice Minister Dermot Ahern next week.

The Murphy Commission investigated the handling by the Cloyne Diocese of allegations of abuse made against 19 priests over a 13-year period, between 1996 and 2009.

The Commission, chaired by circuit court Judge Yvonne Murphy, was asked to undertake an investigation into the Cloyne Diocese in January, 2009, after a separate enquiry by the National Board for Safeguarding Children found that child protection practices in the diocese were inadequate and in some respects dangerous.

The Bishop of Cloyne, Dr John Magee, resigned in the wake of publication of that report.

The Murphy Commission began taking evidence in March of last year and this continued until recent weeks. The commission has been granted a number of extensions by the Government to complete its work.

RTE News understands that the commission's report runs to around 400 pages and that it will be given to Mr Ahern on Wednesday or Thursday next week.

It is likely that the minister will refer the report to the High Court and that it will be well into the new year - at the earliest - before the commission's report will be published.