An independent investigation is to be established into issues raised around the payment of protection money at a social housing site in Dublin.

In a statement, the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said the issues raised on foot of a court case in recent days are "very serious" and the Government is treating them as such.

He said he would be appointing a person to carry out an independent investigation "to get to the bottom of this matter as quickly as possible."

He added that "further steps will be taken as necessary on completion of the investigation".

Yesterday, the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was "greatly disturbed" by suggestions that Dublin City Council was aware of, and recommended, the payments to be made.

It is understood the Minister is consulting with the Attorney General in relation to the terms of reference of the investigation which will replace the one already announced by Dublin City Council.

This evening, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South-Central Aengus Ó Snodaigh said the independent investigation runs the risk of "becoming a ploy to bury an issue".

He said the Minister must ensure that the investigation has a tight timeframe, and that its findings be published and acted upon.