From top: Minister for Children Kathrine Zappone; Scouting Ireland said it has identified 237 alleged abusers among its ranks
The Minister for Children Katherine Zappone last November told the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs that safeguarding expert Ian Elliot had found evidence of 71 alleged abusers and 108 alleged victims of abuse.
She warned the numbers could rise.
A month later, Ms Zappone said Scouting Ireland had written to her and said the organisation had since identified 212 alleged abusers and 317 alleged victims of abuse.
Again, she also warned that this figure is also likely to rise.
Further to this…
Jack Power, in The Irish Times, on Saturday reported that Mr Elliott has identified 313 alleged victims, and 237 alleged abusers.
This morning, Mr Power reports:
Children were sexually abused by scout leaders on hikes in the woods, in tents on camping trips, and in local dens, according to statements from 30 alleged victims preparing to take legal action against Scouting Ireland.
Grooming was a common feature of the alleged abuse, with many perpetrators employing similar methods of singling children out for favourable treatment, before going on to molest them, according to the accounts.
“A lot of the time it would have happened in tents, sometimes it would have happened just out in the woods. It could happen in a car, in a minibus, in a scout hall – a lot of the kids were abused on multiple occasions,” according to Daniel O’Connell, a solicitor representing 30 alleged abuse victims.
The Scouting Ireland confidential freephone helpline is 1800 221199.
The number is operational from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Scouting Ireland has also set up a confidential email address: firstname.lastname@example.org