A European human rights watchdog believes a redress scheme should be put in place for survivors of mother and baby homes if a commission of investigation confirms widespread suspicions about the manner in which they were run.
Council of Europe commissioner Nils Muiznieks also described revelations of a mass grave of children in Tuam, Co Galway, as "quite gruesome".
"If there are serious human rights violations found there, such as forced adoption or ill-treatment, forced labour and detention, these are very serious human rights violations and redress should be provided, not just an acknowledgement that violations took place," he said.
"If violations took place, the State is responsible either directly or indirectly for not exercising sufficient oversight."
Mr Muiznieks criticised the State's response to similar controversies in the past, describing it as "ad hoc" with nobody really being held responsible. "If you take the Magdalene laundries, it seems that the redress system is also incomplete," he said. "You had a lot of serious human rights violations alleged there, forced labour, ill-treatment and so on. But the number of victims recognised has been relatively small."