Scouts asked to hand notes over to gardaí

Scouts asked to hand notes over to gardaí
File Pic RTÉ.

ANYONE with old scouting records is being asked to hand them over to facilitate the garda investigation into abuse.

In Cork, gardaí are currently interviewing at least six former scouts who allege they were abused in scouting circles.

The call for old notes was made to all scouting members by the board of Scouting Ireland, on foot of a request from gardaí.

In correspondence emailed to all members, the board said: “As Scouting Ireland is currently supporting An Gardaí Síochana in a criminal investigation, they have requested that we would ask all our members to review any paper records (old group records) held by them or their scout group, which may hold information that may aid this investigation.”

The organisation’s ongoing review of historic abuse, led by safeguarding expert Ian Elliott, has identified 313 alleged victims and 237 alleged perpetrators, over the last 70 years.

However, garda sources said this figure could increase, if more people come forward.

Late last year, one man was arrested and questioned in Cork, on foot of a complaint received from one former scout member. He was released without charge.

A file has been sent to Tusla, in relation to allegations of abuse against another Corkman, by a different person.

In the letter to members, the board of Scouting Ireland said: “Scouting Ireland is working closely with Tusla and An Gardaí Síochana in the Republic of Ireland, and the PSNI and Gateway Teams in Northern Ireland, to provide assistance and information on all alleged sex abuse reports.”

Anyone with old records is asked to contact Scouting Ireland, on (01) 4956300, or to email safeguarding@scouts.ie.

Anyone wishing to report allegations of abuse can contact the garda child abuse reporting helpline, on 1800 555222.

Scouting Irelands Helpline is open from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm, on 1800 221 199.

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