| 5.1°C Dublin

Up to 20 more victims of alleged abuse in the scouts come forward

Close

Minister Charlie Flanagan

Minister Charlie Flanagan

Minister Charlie Flanagan

Up to 20 victims of alleged abuse in scouting organisations have come forward in less than two days.

Scouting Ireland is at the centre of controversy after a review of historical allegations of abuse found evidence of 71 suspected perpetrators and 108 victims.

Fears have been raised that the number of alleged victims could grow substantially after the revelations at the Oireachtas Children Committee on Wednesday.

Scouting Ireland has been contacted by several more possible victims in less than 48 hours.

Last night the organisation said it had been "busy but not overwhelmed" by calls and also said it did not have the resources to fund a potential redress scheme.

Most of the alleged abuse dates from the 1960s to 1980s. Scouting Ireland said none of the alleged abusers were working with the organisation and most were dead.

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

Scouting Ireland said that since the revelations "we have been busy but not overwhelmed with contacts".

It added that "all contacts are being responded to immediately".

Counselling

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 said the organisation had "ringfenced funds to provide counselling support to alleged victims".

The alleged abuse was raised in the Dail by Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, who called for a helpline for people sexually abused during their time in the scouts.

Mr Calleary said a "huge number of people are affected".

"They were much younger when they suffered the abuse but may not have come forward with their story and are holding on to what happened to them," he added..

"Indeed, they have held on to it for many years."

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was "appalled at the allegations of historical abuse that have emerged at Scouting Ireland".

"Every support will be made available to the victims in order to ensure that they can come forward and do come forward," he said.

"The appropriate authorities will engage in the necessary investigative work."

Scouting Ireland has said a helpline is being established "for people to share their stories with us".

It said the number for the helpline will be released as soon as it is in place.

The organisation's new chairperson, Aisling Kelly, has previously issued an apology for the hurt caused by some past members of Scouting Ireland and the organisations that preceded it.

She has insisted that safeguarding children in the organisation is Scouting Ireland's "number one priority".


Privacy