Scouts to issue apology for abuse; Cork TD says it needs to be backed up with highest safeguarding standards 

Scouts to issue apology for abuse; Cork TD says it needs to be backed up with highest safeguarding standards 
Pic: RTE

SCOUTING Ireland has told Minister for Children Katherine Zappone that they are to issue an institutional apology to previous victims of child sexual abuse.

Since it emerged late last year, there are now 321 identified victims and 247 alleged abusers.

Scouting Ireland has given a report to the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone, which states it will issue an apology to victims of child sexual abuse under Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland and Scouts Association of Ireland.

Scouting Ireland came into existence in 2004 as a result of Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland and Scouts Association of Ireland merging.

The report saying there will be an apology comes just two months after Tusla recommended overnight camping trips be suspended while a review of their protocols in ensuring children’s safety was undertaken.

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD welcomes the apology but says Scouting Ireland need to now keep working with the Department for Children and Tusla to reach their best standard in ensuring children are safe in their care.

“Clearly the appropriate thing to do following on from an apology, they strive to incorporate Tusla and Department of Children the highest possible standard to ensure that Scouting Ireland can continue to play the massive role that it plays in Cork and right around the country and that parents are confident that the standards exist and their children are safe.”

Ó Laoghaire told The Echo that the next step is to ensure that Scouting Ireland backs up their apology by implementing the highest safeguarding standard possible.

He said: “An apology acknowledges people were failed very seriously in the past but it is also important that any weaknesses that did exist in reporting issues be fixed and the highest safeguarding standard as possible exists.”

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