Scouting Ireland review uncovers child abuse cover up
There was a sexual abuse cover up at Scouting Ireland, a report has found.
The report, by child protection consultant Ian Elliott, said the full extent of the abuse cannot be determined exactly, as records have been lost and destroyed.
However, it did say that the abuse was not responded to in a way that protected the abused or sought to hold the offender to account, RTÉ reported.
Mr Elliot was commissioned by Scouting Ireland to examine historical abuse.
The review found that there appears to have been an almost complete absence of any concern for the young people that were abused and where there were attempts to support them, it is “poorly recorded”.
The report described the organisation as having “a culture driven by self-interest, with little attention paid to the young people involved” and that “cronyism thrived”.
“Individuals, who were suspected or known to be sex offenders, gained positions of power and became largely impregnable,” it added.
Mr Elliot added: “It must be recognised and accepted by all that there is no greater priority for scouting today than the safeguarding of the young people that are involved with it, and the removal of anyone from scouting who places them at risk.”
Claims of historical abuse were first discussed at an Oireachtas committee meeting in 2018.
Most of the the alleged abuse cases took place between the 1960s and 1990s.
Ireland’s Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone requested a number of reviews into governance and reform at Scouting Ireland.
According to Scouting Ireland, the report published on Thursday is about learning from past mistakes.