Taoiseach Enda Kenny has stopped short of giving a commitment to hold an inquiry into the alleged sexual abuse of boys at the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

Mr Kenny said he would consult with the leaders of the Opposition about the best options of pursuing the truth in what he described as “matters of serious concern”.

He said a commitment to hold an inquiry had been made in the context of the Oireachtas Committee referendum being passed last month.

He said he did not wish to proceed down the road of endless tribunals, nor did he wish to see “toothless committees” sitting to discuss important issues.

The Taoiseach was responding to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, who said the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore, had given a commitment to hold an inquiry following advice from the Attorney General.

Mr Adams called on the Taoiseach to give a commitment to hold the inquiry before Christmas.