With reference to the recent article by Victoria White and subsequent editorial comment concerning the Bethany Home, it should be made clear that the Church of Ireland has not ignored the issues raised by former residents.
The death and neglect of children is always a cause for deep concern and for this reason Church of Ireland representatives have met with former residents and taken forward their concerns to the State.
Both the Archbishop of Dublin and the Church’s Child Protection Office have written to the Government requesting that the home should be considered in relation to the Residential Institutions Redress Board.
It is the Church’s understanding that Minister Quinn has met with former residents. The Archbishop of Dublin has also publicly supported the fundraising campaign for a memorial to infants who died in the home, both in December 2011 and again this month (Dublin & Glendalough Church Review).
Your editorial rightly calls for truth and honesty about the care in that home in the 1930s and 1940s; it is, however, true to state that the Church of Ireland did not have governance of the home.
Certain terms in Victoria White’s article suggest care may have been deliberately withheld from infants.
To enable the State to make informed decisions regarding the home, the Church would urge anyone with information concerning these matters to forward all relevant details to the office of Minster Quinn.
Head of Communications Representative Church Body
Church of Ireland House