There has been a "significant increase" in the number of people seeking information from the Adoption Authority following the release of the movie Philomena.

The Minister for Children has told the Dáil that many callers have cited Philomena Lee as "a catalyst for their call".

The movie tells Ms Lee’s story.

In 1952, when she was a teenager, she became pregnant and ended up in Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Co Tipperary.

Shortly after her son Anthony was born she began working in the Abbey’s laundry, unpaid and unable to leave.

She was allowed to spend one hour a day with her son.

When he was three, he was adopted by an American couple unbeknownst to his mother and she never had the chance to say goodbye.

Ms Fitzgerald commended Ms Lee for the bravery and sensitivity she has shown, describing her as "truly a remarkable woman who has struggled with great grace and courage".

The minister also said she would welcome a meeting with Ms Lee.