Tuesday 17 September 2019

Scouting Ireland says it can't fund redress scheme for alleged abuse victims

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Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Scouting Ireland has said it doesn't have the resources to fund a redress scheme for alleged abuse victims.

The organisation is at the centre of controversy after a review of historic abuse allegations found evidence of 71 suspected perpetrators and 108 victims.

Most of the cases date from the 1960s to 1980s.

Scouting Ireland said none of the alleged abusers are still working with the organisation and most of them are deceased.

Reports have been made to the Gardaí and Tusla in relation to alleged abusers.

Scouting Ireland has this afternoon released a statement saying that it has been "busy but not overwhelmed" with contacts from possible abuse victims.

It said that all contacts are being responded to immediately and that a helpline is being established "for people to share their stories".

Scouting Ireland announced this evening that the helpline freephone number is 1 800 22 11 99. They also said emails can be sent to safeguarding@scouts.ie.  

The statement also said: "In terms of a redress scheme, Scouting Ireland as a voluntary organisation does not have the resources to fund such a scheme".

It added: "We have ring-fenced funds to provide counselling support to alleged victims".

Scouting Ireland's new chairperson Aisling Kelly has apologised for the hurt caused by some past members of Scouting Ireland and the organisations that preceded it.

She has insisted that safeguarding children is Scouting Ireland’s “number one priority”.

She added: “We cannot change the past, but we can make sure that this organisation is a safe environment for all our members now and into the future.”

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