The Minister for Children has committed to have a "re-examination" of the Government's plans to manage the records of mother-and -baby homes. 

Minister Roderic O'Gorman was speaking in the Dáil which is debating amendments to the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

The legislation centres around data collected by the commission since 2015.

Minister O'Gorman said it was "impossible to ignore" correspondence he had received on the matter, and that there was now an "obligation to look beyond the legal process". 

He told the Dáil there would be a detailed engagement with the Attorney General's office and he would also ask legal academics to review the process. 

The Minster was commenting as he was speaking about his legislation before the Dáil and said there was "urgent need" for the bill to be passed. 

This would enable the preservation of the records of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

He said the Commission was due to be dissolved on 30 October, and the legislation would deal with serious legal and practical issues related to the records.  

In September, the commission said bespoke legislation would be required to safeguard and transfer a database of the mothers and children who were resident in the main mother-and-baby homes.

The bill provides for the database to be sent to the Tusla.

This has raised concerns among former residents of the homes and their families over their ability to access the information held by the Child and Family Agency.

Under a 2004 act, the remaining archives will be sealed for 30 years. Last Friday, the bill passed all stages in the Seanad.

Concerns have been raised by TDs and Senators over the speed at which the legislation is being pushed through the Oireachtas without pre-legislative scrutiny.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has told the Dáil that the Government "has no right" to lock away documents from the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes for 30 years.

She claimed Minister O'Gorman's position was "contradictory", but declared that the "net effect" of the Government's actions would ensure just that happened. 

The Dublin Central TD said she appreciated the archive must be protected intact, but she said the "wretched cry" of a child taken from their mothers arms must also be heard. 

Ms McDonald said "this isn't ancient history, but very recent history", adding the Minister had "advanced the legislation" without the appropriate level of consideration. 

Opposition TDs are not alone in vocalising their objections to the swift passage of the bill.

The former children's minister and Fine Gael TD for Laois, Charlie Flanagan, has also expressed concern to Minister O'Gorman and the whip.

Mr Flanagan, who announced the Commission of Investigation in 2014, is not happy with how the current legislation is going through the house.

Minister O'Gorman said the bill needs to be passed before the Commission of Investigation publishes its final report on 30 October.

However, one of amendments by the minister requires the Commission of Investigation to submit its final report to the Government not later than 30 October 2020 to provide for the dissolution of the commission on 28 February 2021.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Minister O’Gorman said he will bring forward two amendments to the bill on Mother and Baby Homes which include ensuring that a copy of the database remains in the archive as well as one being moved to Tusla.

He said this database may assist the tracing of family members.

He said the other amendment would allow people who have given personal stories to the committee as part of the investigation to indicate if they want their names associated with their testimonies or redacted.

Additional reporting Ailbhe Conneely, Paul Cunningham