MAY 14TH 2020

One in Four today welcomes the publication of the Scouting Ireland Learning Review prepared by child protection consultant Ian Elliot.  The Review documents a devastating history of serial sex offenders abusing young boys, protected within two seriously dysfunctional scouting organisations from the 1960s to the 1990s.

CEO Maeve Lewis says: “Our first thoughts must be with the hundreds of survivors who were let down by the scouting volunteers and leadership who ignored serious allegations of sexual abuse, often made by several boys or their parents.  The pain and suffering they have carried into their adult lives is very real, and they are deserving of the most expert independent support.  Where the perpetrators are still alive, every effort must be made to bring them before the criminal courts.”

Maeve Lewis continues: “ The organisational dysfunction described by Mr. Elliot is astonishing, and makes for very grim reading. Active abusers rising to leadership positions supported by other abusers, protecting and supporting each through a culture of cronyism. Non-offending leaders actively suppressing the reporting of concerns through a desire to protect the good name of the organisation.  Chaotic record keeping. No allegations reported to the Gardaí.  Children’s’ lives destroyed with a total lack of concern for their welfare.”

Maeve Lewis ends: “The Review makes clear that Scouting Ireland still faces considerable challenges in implementing a robust child protection system.  Ian Elliot cites a lack of awareness of the challenges at Board level, a culture where there is still evidence of efforts to frustrate the process of holding people accountable and inappropriate deference to leadership to this day.  He makes many strong recommendations for actions which will be necessary to transform Scouting Ireland into a youth organisation where children will be safe.  It is important that those actions should be monitored by a team of independent experts on an ongoing basis.”



Maeve Lewis, CEO  087 7584080

Deirdre Kenny, Deputy CEO and Advocacy Director 087 2721694