Taoiseach Micheál Martin has given a formal apology to those who were placed in mother and baby homes.
He says the Irish State had the ability to exert the "ultimate control" over these institutions, and the "State failed" in its duty of care to women and children.
It follows yesterday's publication of the long-awaited Commission of Investigation report, which found an "appalling" level of infant mortality among the children born there.
9,000 died in the 18 institutions examined between the 1920s and 1990s.
The Taoiseach's apology, in full: