The Government has won a key Dáil vote on its controversial mother-and-baby home legislation by the substantial margin of 78 votes to 67.

However, Opposition parties have strongly criticised both the Bill and the Government's refusal to accept any amendments.

In September, the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes 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 provided for the database to be sent to Tusla, which 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.

During the debate in the Dail, the Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman said he was keenly aware of the negative impact the debate was having. 

"I'm aware of the real rawness of the issues that we are discussing for the survivors of mother and baby homes. I am also aware that this debate, particularly over the past two weeks, has exacerbated that rawness. That does not sit easily with me," he said. 

However, he told TDs that the Attorney General advised him that an interim report into the handling of records could not be published, but he hope two amendments he was tabling would take account of some of the Opposition party concerns.

"I am bringing forward a bill today whose purpose is to protect a database created by the Commission on mother and baby homes," he said.

Mr O'Gorman said he also wanted to dispel a suggestion that the effect of his legislation was to seal the archive for 30 years. 

He contended: "That claim has been repeated countless times in this House. It is incorrect. This bill seeks to protect a database and ensure it is not sealed in that archive."

In a statement to RTÉ News after the Dáil vote, Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns said: "I asked the minister on the outset, if he will be considering any of the amendments put forward by TDs that are based on input from survivors and human rights experts? He said no.

"It is disgraceful that after pleas from survivors of institutional abuse that the government will not even consider one of the over 60 amendments from the opposition." 

Ms Cairns said the Government had voted through a bill "without proper pre-legislative scrutiny and without input from survivors".

"We are talking about the most serious kinds of human rights violations - missing children, forced disappearances, illegal adoption and so much more horrific systematic institutional abuse," she said. 

"The mother and baby homes commission was formed in light of the discovery of 800 dead children and babies in a misused septic tank," Ms Cairns added.

"It is sickening that the Minister didn't consider those affected and then wouldn't even consider amendments myself and other TDs submitted - amendments based on inputs from survivors and human rights experts,"  she said.

Sinn Féin's Louise O'Reilly said on social media that she was "devastated for the survivors of institutional abuse". 

Labour's Seán Sherlock declared that the whole debate had been a "sham" because Minister O'Gorman refused "to accept any amendment".

People Before Profit's Bríd Smith tweeted: "Never forget this".

The Independent TD Catherine Connolly branded the Minister's refusal to accept amendments as "shocking".

The three coalition parties were supported by two TDs from the Regional Group. 

Opposing the bill was Sinn Féin, Labour, Social Democrats, Solidarity/People Before Profit, five TDs from the Regional Group, the Rural Independent Group, and Independent Group. 

The Ceann Comhairle told the Dáil that the bill will now return to the Seanad for further scrutiny. 

A request for a physical vote, as opposed to an electronic vote, was denied because the margin between Yes and No was greater than 10.