A recently published report has identified sexual abuse cover up at Scouting Ireland.

The damning report by Child Protection Consultant Ian Elliott failed to identify the full extent of the abuse due to records being lost and destroyed but did conclude that the abuse was not responded to in a way that protected the abused or sought to hold the offender to account.

Scouting Ireland commissioned Mr Elliott to examine incidents of historical abuse.  The review identified that there appeared to have been almost a complete absence of any concern for the young people that were the subject of abuse and where there were attempts to support them, they are “poorly recorded”.

The report describes the Scouting organisation as having a “culture driven by self interest with little attention paid to the young people involved” and that “cronyism thrived”.

Regrettably “individuals who were suspected or were known to be sex offenders gained positions of power and became largely impregnable”.

Mr Elliott commented that it must be recognised and accepted by all that there is no greater priority for Scouting today than the safeguarding of young people that are involved with it; and the removal of anyone from Scouting who places them at risk.

Ireland’s Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Catherine Zappone requested a number of reviews into governance and the reform of Scouting Ireland.

The picture painted by the report of Mr Elliott into Scouting Ireland is all too similar to complaints we have seen made of the Scout Association.  The Association claims to provide activities to nearly half a million young people in the United Kingdom and its programmes include Beaver Scouts (aged 5 – 8), Cub Scouts (aged 8 – 10.5), Scouts (aged 10.5 – 14), Explorer Scouts (aged 14 – 18) and up to adult network members (aged 18 – 25).

We at Farleys Solicitors have represented many survivors who have been abused by adult leaders, volunteers or members within the Scout Association who committed acts of sexual abuse and criminal wrong doing.

Farleys continues to represent many individuals seeking justice against individuals who have committed abuse for which the Scout Association is responsible for.

If you or someone you know has experienced abuse within this environment then I would welcome your enquiry either directly via telephone on 01282 718000, via our dedicated abuse line on 0330 134 6430 or by email to paul.corrigan@farleys.com