Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has said the Commission of Investigation into Waterford paedophile Bill Kenneally could begin within weeks.

The former sports coach and accountant is currently serving a sentence for having abused teenage boys in the 1980s in Waterford.

The Commission of Investigation is expected to look into the garda handling of complaints; what they did or did not know, possibly as far back as the 1960s and 1970s; matters surrounding the former South Eastern Health Board and the Catholic Church in Waterford.

The commission is headed by retired judge Barry Hickson.

Speaking in Waterford at the opening of the city’s courthouse, Mr Flanagan said he acknowledges there has been great public concern in Waterford on alleged child abuse over a long number of years.

He said it is important the Government gets it right in terms of the forthcoming Commission of Investigation and that the commission gets started over the next few weeks under agreed terms of reference between those involved and his department.

The Minister added the issue is an urgent and important one, and that it is essential the truth is uncovered and if there is wrongdoing that the full nature of that be seen.