Education Minister Ruairi Quinn stressed that he "empathises" with Louise O'Keeffe over her ordeal but did not respond to her demand for a personal apology over her treatment by the State.
He said the Government now has to take legal advice on the full implications of the ECHR ruling.
"This woman has been through a very, very difficult period for many years. This is a very dark chapter in our past, which we will confront," he said.
However, Mr Quinn did not respond to the call for an apology over the way successive governments handled her case and the cases of other abuse victims.
"It (the ECHR judgment) is being digested. It would appear to me there are significant implications . . . the scale and extent of which I cannot really comment on at this stage. I have not been briefed.
"But, for her and her family, I am glad that this journey is now over and she has a (positive) result."