Junior Justice Minister has apologised to the United Nations for our human rights record.
The Government has been criticised for its lack of progress on investigations into the Magdalene Laundries, mother-and-baby homes, and other issues.
Minister David Stanton said many of these were legacy issues which Ireland was not proud of.
"A lot of the questions asked refer to chapters in our past," he stated.
"These are legacy, historical issues of which we are not proud. We recognise and apologise for the serious wrongs that were made in the past and where we can, we will try to remedy these wrongs.
"Ireland is now an open, modern and progressive society.
"We are anxious to get things right in our country. Our international reputation is also very important to us."
Felice Gaer, from the UN Committee Against Torture, welcomed the apology.
"Recognising and apologising for these wrongs is often the unfortunate responsibility of people who come after the wrongs," she said.
"We recognise these were historical, they're not present, and it's not always an easy task. I'm very pleased to hear that."