The Irish Catholic Bishops met representatives and victims who suffered child abuse at the hands of clergy and religious in Catholic run schools, orphanages and workhouses, a meeting described as the first step of many to bring closure.
The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said "it was the most significant meeting I have ever attended in that room. It was extraordinary," the Irish Times reported.
It was "a very momentous, very historic occasion," John Kelly of Soca Ireland (Survivors of Child Abuse) said.
Mr Kelly explained that they had given a full account of their experiences to the bishops, which must have been "very hard to listen to."
They asked the Catholic Church as a whole be more responsive to survivors, he said.
Mr Kelly, Michael O'Brien of the Right to Peace group, Tom Hayes of the Alliance group and Christy Heaphy of the Cork based Right of Place, met the media accompanied by Cardinal Brady and Archbishop Martin.
Michael O'Brien of the Right to Peace group said the groups have requested the bishops set up a subcommittee to begin a dialogue and the setting up of a benevolent fund by the bishops to help people who may have received redress but who still needed help in areas such as education and counselling.
The Associated Press reported that the bishops and Cardinal Sean Brady, Ireland's primate, declined to respond to the victims' demands for the Church as a whole to concede its legal and moral responsibility for the decades of trauma suffered by children.
The Church has insisted the 18 Irish orders of priests, brothers and nuns responsible were self-governing and not under the control of bishops, AP said.
Victims of abuse meet bishops in Maynooth (Irish Times)
Irish Catholic bishops meet child-abuse victims (Google News/AP)