Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has promised the full support of the state for people affected by illegal adoptions.
Mr Varadkar apologised on behalf of the Government and said another “dark chapter” had been opened in the country’s history after it was announced 126 births were illegally registered over a 23-year period.
Children and Youth Affairs minister Dr Katherine Zappone revealed yesterday that an independent review will be launched into the cases between 1946 and 1969, in which those affected may not know their parents were not their birth parents.
The Taoiseach said the people affected had a right to know their identity and their birth story.
He added: “What was done was wrong, what was done robbed children, our fellow citizens, of their identity.
“It was an historic wrong that we must face up to and again on behalf of the Government I’m very sorry for it.”
The Taoiseach said the priority now was to contact all those people affected in a sensitive way.
The Children’s Minister has said 85 people have contacted their helpline to find out if they are involved in the adoption scandal.
Yesterday it was revealed 126 people were illegally adopted from St Patrick’s Guild, and many may not know their parents are not their real mother and father.