The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has announced that Judge Yvonne Murphy will chair the Commission of Investigation into Church-run mother-and-baby homes.

James Reilly this afternoon said: "I am delighted that a widely respected person of the calibre of Judge Yvonne Murphy has agreed to head up this investigation.

"Judge Murphy has a very strong track record in effectively establishing the truth in relation to important and sensitive matters.

"She is ideally suited to this challenging role.

"The Government may give consideration to the appointment of further members to the Commission but I believe Judge Murphy’s agreement to undertake the role of Chair of the Commission is a very positive development in the process to establish an effective and independent investigation."

Mr Reilly also published the Report of Inter Departmental Group on Mother and Baby Homes.

He said: "I think it is correct that we place the report into the public domain in order to provide wide access to the important factual information which the group has been in a position to compile in the relatively short time available."

The Cabinet announced the investigation following media reports in May of findings that 796 babies and children had died of various diseases in Tuam's mother-and-baby home between 1925 and 1961.

Former minister for children Charlie Flanagan had promised the commission would investigate high death rates in the State's ten Catholic-run homes, forced adoptions and involuntary drugs tests.

He also said that Dublin's Protestant-run Bethany Home would be included.

However, survivors' groups have urged the inclusion of the Magdalene Laundries and a wider focus on children born out of wedlock.