Micheál Martin has not ruled out a state apology to the survivors of the Mother and Baby Homes.
He said the Government would be making a “very comprehensive response” in time and that he did not want to “pre-empt” the report.
“We certainly won’t be found wanting in terms of a comprehensive response,” the Taoiseach said.
“I’m ruling nothing out at all, but I’m very conscious that it’s a wider societal issue as well.”
Mr Martin also said the Government does not anticipate any “obstacles or barriers” to the publication of the final report of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.
He said he expected the final 4,000-page report to be delivered to Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman on Friday afternoon and that it would be sent to the Attorney General for review.
“It is our intention to publish this because the whole purpose of establishing the commission was to tell as comprehensive a story as possible of what I regard is a very shameful and dark period in our society and country’s history,” he said.
“My understanding is that it’s over 4,000 pages long and that suggests a very comprehensive review by the commission. That story deserves to be told and needs to be told and shared with the people of Ireland. That’s my objective.
“I anticipate that we will publish this as soon as possible.”
Mr Martin also said he had a “constructive meeting” on Friday morning with mother and baby homes representative groups about policy matters and the legislation that is needed to give statutory access to the records of those affected.
The Taoiseach said they also discussed the Government’s plans to create an archival centre to house documents relating to mother and baby homes, the Magdalene Laundries and industrial schools.
He added that he was committed to making such a centre “a reality” to ensure future generations understand what the “survivors and those who went through these institutions went through”.