President Michael D Higgins has described the "horrifying" revelations of mass graves at the Tuam mother and baby home as another necessary step in "blowing open the locked doors of a hidden Ireland".

Speaking at Áras an Uachtaráin at a reception to mark International Women's Day, President Higgins welcomed the setting up of a commission of inquiry that would "out the truth on record".

He said there "are dark shadows that hang over our meeting, shadows that require us all to summon up yet again a light that might dispel the darkness to which so many women and their children were condemned, and the questions left unanswered as we moved on".

President Higgins said the work of Catherine Corless was "another necessary step in blowing open the locked doors of a hidden Ireland”.

He said we are challenged to consider how the reprehensible attitudes that were held towards so-called "unmarried women" and so-called "illegitimate babies" came to be held.

The Catholic bishops meeting in Maynooth today reiterated the church's apology of three years ago for the hurt caused by its part in the system which they said also involved adoptions.

They also urged parishes to ensure that the burial sites of former residents are appropriately marked.

Meanwhile, a man who was born in the Tuam mother and baby home has said all such homes should be investigated.

Significant quantities of human remains were found at the site during recent excavations by the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke, PJ Haverty said he wants apologies from the State, the church and the nuns.

He said the nuns "were supposed to carry out good deeds on this earth and to look after the weak and the vulnerable which they didn't do".

He said he contacted the Taoiseach's offices in Castlebar and in Dublin last year to explain to him about what happened to him and his mother at the home.

He said he wanted to meet Enda Kenny on the grounds of the Tuam home, but said the Taoiseach neither contacted him nor acknowledged his phone calls on the matter.

Mr Haverty said he was born in the home and lived there with his mother for a year before she was told to leave because he said "they didn't want this bonding between mother and baby".

He said she knocked on the door for the next five-and-a-half years asking to see her son, but was denied access.

He said his mother went through torture and he went through torture trying to find her, to get information.

He said he was locked in the building for six-and-a-half years not knowing that your mother was "outside knocking on the door".

He said he experienced "nastiness" and had dirty remarks made to him as he grew up and he had to live with that.

He said the babies' remains should be anointed and interred in the cemetery in Tuam.

Meanwhile, Galway County Council has said there are no records to suggest human remains were discovered during the construction of a housing estate on the site of the former mother and baby home in Tuam.