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Number of alleged abuse victims and perpetrators trebles in Scouting Ireland review

Scouting Ireland has identified more than 300 alleged victims and more than 200 alleged perpetrators of abuse as part of a review of the organisation.

Childrens Minister Katherine Zappone has said as more people come forward, these numbers will in all probability increase.

Last month it was revealed that more than 100 alleged victims and more than 70 alleged abusers had been identified by Scouting Ireland.

However, following a written update, it has now emerged there are 317 alleged victims and 212 alleged perpetrators.

The figures are based on the continued review of historical files and 123 calls to the confidential helpline.

Minister Zappone says the matter is of grave concern and underlines the serious challenges facing Scouting Ireland.

She added supporting victims is her top priority and she would encourage anyone who has been abused to come forward.

Labour Spokesperson for Children and Youth Affairs, Sean Sherlock, has called for a coordinated response to the revelations.

Deputy Sherlock said: "These figures released by Minister Zappone of over 300 alleged victims of abuse within Scouting Ireland is devastating, but not surprising. It has always been probable that the number of allegations was understated.

"The questions the Minister must not answer are, how are she and the government going to deal with those who have made complaints by way of additional supports. Also, what protocols are being put in place to deal with complainants?

"The Minister must provide more clarity about what happens next. It is not enough for the Minister to outline a numerical list of allegations. People want reassurances that files have been referred to Gardai and Tusla

"It is also important that the Minister outline what engagement has the minister had with the new board on these files aside from receiving a letter. It is a matter of public importance that we also know if there are allegations against current members of Scouting Ireland or are the files all historical files?

"I look forward to the Minister delivering further clarity on these questions and laying out how she intends to move forward."

- Digital Desk