Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed six minors in State care were assisted in travelling abroad for an abortion.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Fine Gael's Billy Timmons, the minister said she was constrained from providing details of the individual cases that occurred since 1992.

She said: "The circumstances in each case are complex and unique to the individual involved."

Minister Fitzgerald said the Health Service Executive acted within the legislation and in the best interests of the girls involved.

"In each of the six cases, a psychiatrist was involved in providing an assessment of the mental health needs of the child. In four of the six cases, a court hearing was convened," she said.