An astonishing number of alleged sex offenders identified in scouting Ireland review.

One in Four said today that an astonishing number of alleged sex offenders had been identified so far in the review of child protection practices at Scouting Ireland.

Executive Director Maeve Lewis says: “71 alleged sex offenders have been identified in the review involving 108 survivors. We are told that this number may rise as the review continues. While most of the allegations relate to the period between the 1960s and 1980s, there are certainly more recent incidents as well. It is very distressing to think that such a high number of sex offenders were able to gain access to children through an organisation that had been trusted by generations of parents. It highlights the need for rigorous child
safeguarding practices and Garda vetting to be put in place in every environment where children congregate.”

Maeve Lewis continues: “While the numbers are astonishing, they actually reflect the statistics that one in four Irish children are sexually harmed, usually by a trusted adult whom they know. Minister for Justice, Charlie Flanagan, yesterday announced that the SAVI research from 2002 would finally be replicated by the Central Statistics Office. This is vital if we are to know if the legislative and policy changes in the past decade are having an impact in keeping children safe.”

Maeve Lewis ends: “I would urge anybody who has been affected by this scandal to reach out for help and I commend Scouting Ireland for providing support to everybody who has come forward.