The Department of Justice said it has received around 1,000 calls about the fund which is to be set up for former residents of Magdalene laundries.

Mr Justice John Quirke, who is carrying out a review to devise recommendations on payments and support, has been meeting Magdalene Survivor representative groups this week.

He met the Magdalene Survivors Together group, and the UK-based Irish Womens Survivors Support Network, to discuss the fund.

The Government is asking the four religious orders concerned to make what it calls an appropriate contribution to the fund, and the Department said contact is ongoing with the Orders about the issue.

Asked if Mr Justice Quirke would be seeking access to the congregations' financial records as part of his review, a department spokesperson said it was not aware of this, and that the department had not sought any access to those records at this stage.