Members of the Oireachtas Committee on Children have been informed that Judge Yvonne Murphy has declined an invitation to appear before it to discuss the report by the Commission of Investigation into Mother-and-Baby Homes, of which she is chair. 

The clerk of the Committee has informed members that Judge Murphy has been asked to provide an alternative date for her appearance, or an alternative member of the Commission that could answer questions before TDs and Senators. 

However, the clerk noted that having consulted with the parliamentary legal advisors, there is nothing in the terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation or the Commission of Investigations Act that would compel any of the report's authors to be accountable for the report to an Oireachtas Committee. 

Members had hoped to ask Ms Justice Murphy about the methodology of the report, some of the language used in it and claims that some of its conclusions contradicted evidence given by survivors. 

The Commission is due to be dissolved on 28 February. 

Yesterday in the Dáil, Social Democrats TD Jennifer Whitmore asked the Tánaiste if its term would be extended to enable "a full investigation" in to what she said was a "destruction of files"  relating to personal testimony given to the Commission. 

Kathleen Funchion, Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children, said there are "serious questions to be answered" about the report. 

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, she said the committee received a "one sentence answer" saying that Ms Murphy was not available to attend on the suggested date of 16 February. 

She said many survivors of mother-and-baby homes believe that the report did not reflect their testimony, and were disappointed with the tone, language used, and attitude. 

Fine Gael Senator Regina Doherty said the report has "given rise to far more questions than it gave resolutions to the answers than it promised." 

Speaking on the same programme, she said that it is the obligation of the Oireachtas Committee on Children to ensure that reflection of the testimonies of survivors is inherent in the commission's report. 

"We know from survivors that that is not true," she said, adding that clarification is needed on what has happened to the transcriptions of survivor testimonies.