A Government TD has said women whose children were put up for forced adoption are owed an apology by the State.
Labour's Anne Ferris said women like Philomena Lee suffered at the hands of the state.
She was speaking at a major international conference on adoption taking place today at University College Cork.
Deputy Ferris, who herself was put up for adoption, had a message for Philomena Lee, whose story inspired a hit film last year.
"Philomena, this State owes you an apology and a thank you. Your brave decision to speak out has empowered other natural mothers and many more adopted children to speak out too. And I applaud you for that."
Philomena Lee will give the keynote speech herself at the conference in Cork later today.