Singer Sinead O'Connor has stated that the Pope should come to Ireland and personally apologize to the Irish people for the church child abuse scandal there.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent she said: "In 1987, the Church in Ireland took out an insurance policy to protect themselves from claims they foresaw would be brought against them from survivors of clerical abuse and their families. If they knew as far back as 1987, why did they not deal with the issue then?" she asked.

"In all this time and with the Ryan report and now the Murphy report, why did neither pope get on a plane and come to Ireland to meet the survivors, to personally apologize and thank them for their bravery in coming forward?

"It seems to me the Church themselves should have been the ones to bring this matter into the public arena," she said. "One of the reasons I feel so passionately about these issues is that I am myself a survivor of severe child abuse."

"I myself would go much further and say that the Vatican itself should now be the subject of criminal investigation into what went on in the Irish Catholic Church," she says. "They knew in 1987 what was going on in the Irish Church - they did nothing but act to preserve their business interests."

O'Connor said she was humbled by speaking with those who counseled victims of child abuse "These are the people who acted in the interests of children and in the interests of Catholicism. Ireland owes them a massive debt of gratitude for bringing us the truth and therefore allowing us to disentangle ourselves from . . . oppression and lies."