Below is a response from ICM Trustee, Rev Brian Courtney, to an article relating to Irish Church Missions in the 3rd February edition of the Church of Ireland Gazette:

Your issue of 3 February reported a letter sent to various bodies and individuals by Mr Derek Leinster regarding the victims of abuse at Bethany Home. I am confident that Mr Leinster has been informed on various occasions that ICM had no responsibility for the administration or management of Bethany Home. Over the years individual ICM members, like others from different Protestant denominations, were involved in a private, voluntary capacity but not as in any way representing our society.

We have every sympathy for Bethany victims, as for any who have suffered abuse as children, but Irish Church Missions had no involvement in the running of Bethany Home. ICM welcomes the findings of Northern Ireland’s HIA Report regarding Manor House Home that there is no evidence of systemic physical or sexual abuse of children by staff. That Bethany Home is being included in the investigations of the Mother and Baby Home Commission in the Republic is good news for the victims and for those individuals and organisations who have been unfairly accused of responsibility for abuse.