The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes has submitted its final report to the Minister for Children.

The document, which runs to more than 4,000 pages, will be published after it has been reviewed by the Attorney General.

It will include the testimonies of people who lived and worked in 14 mother-and-baby homes and four county homes between the 1920s and the 1990s.

The Minister for Children confirmed that he has received the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes. 

Roderic O'Gorman said he referred it immediately to the Attorney General for legal advice as to whether its publication "could prejudice any criminal proceedings that are pending or in progress."

In a statement, the Minister said: "The Office of the Attorney General has been provided with additional resources to expedite this review, and the Government has committed to publication as soon as possible."

The commission will dissolve at the end of next February at which point a copy of a database of information linking mothers to children in the homes, and a wider archive will be handed over to the minister.

The Child and Family Agency Tusla will receive the database after legislation was passed in the Oireachtas last week.

On Wednesday night, the Government clarified that adoptees and survivors of mother-and-baby homes are legally entitled to access their personal data.

Representative groups of former residents welcomed the announcement.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin earlier said the Government is not anticipating any barriers to the release of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes report.

Mr Martin said it is his intention to have the report published "as soon as we possibly can".

He met with a number of survivors' groups this morning.

In what he described as a "constructive meeting", they discussed the need to progress legislation on tracing and accessing information, and how adoptees and survivors can access their records through data protection laws. 

Asked if the Government would issue a State apology and put in place a redress scheme, Mr Martin said he would not pre-empt the findings of the report, but the coalition would not be found wanting when it came to providing a comprehensive State response.

Sinn Féin has said there should be no "undue delay" in publishing the report.

"I am extremely concerned that survivors of mother-and-baby homes will have to wait an undue period of time to view the final report", its spokesperson on children Kathleen Funchion said, adding: "This process must be expedited."

But Mr Martin said the coalition is working to enable its publication as early as possible.

"The Government is not anticipating obstacles or barriers to its release. It is our intention to publish this because the whole point of establishing the Commission is to tell as comprehensive a story as possible about what I regard as a very shameful and dark, dark period in our society and country's history."

Hope that truth will come out

Catherine Corless, whose work in Tuam, Co Galway, led to the setting up of the mother-and-baby home commission, said she hopes the truth will come out when its report is published.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Late Late Show, Ms Corless said she believes survivors will be released from the "shame" they have suffered.

She said it is a survivor's wish to find out what had happened, to know their identity and what life their mothers had.

Ms Corless said she cannot reason why the Government did not pass the legislation years ago and said they are treating survivors as second class citizens.

She said it is important for survivors to go back to the start, and to tell them what happened.

Ms Corless said the Government has to apologise to the survivors and that this should be done now.