The winner of a competition to design a memorial to victims of institutional abuse has been announced.

Dublin architectural firm Studio Negri and the Waterford Partnership Hennessy & Associates have been awarded the commission for their entry entitled "Journey of Light".

The monument will be erected beside the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square in Dublin.

The memorial project was recommended three years ago in the Ryan Report and was endorsed by the Dáil.

The winner was chosen by a ten-strong jury, which included two survivors of abuse.

But the organisation SOCCA has criticised the project as premature, saying the religious had not paid their fair share of the State's €1.3bn redress bill.

Spokesman John Kelly said that, in all conscience, he could not look at such a memorial as long as the survivors of Magdalene laundries and the Protestant Bethany Home were not compensated by church or State.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said the structure would "act as a testimony to one of the darkest chapters" in the State's history and what society collectively allowed to happen to vulnerable children.

He said he hoped it would serve as a constant reminder that society must never let such horrendous crimes against children happen again and of the need to strive to protect all children here.

He was reminded that the Ryan Commission had also recommended that 18 religious congregations who ran the Catholic institutions should pay half the total compensation bill, estimated to run to €1.5bn.

Mr Quinn said progress towards this objective had been very slow and very unsatisfactory, because only one of the 18 congregations had accepted that they should make a 50-50 contribution and the others were "well shy of what was required".

The outdoor monument will cost €500,000 to complete and its commissioning and delivery will be managed by the Office of Public Works.