Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs Kathleen Funchion has said that in light of the report published today by child protection specialist Ian Elliot, which highlighted “deeply troubling and damning” failures at the heart of Scouting Ireland, that the ongoing criminal investigation into the organisation must now hold those responsible to account.
Deputy Funchion said:
“This report into Scouting Ireland by Ian Elliot highlights the deeply troubling and damning failures that have dogged the organisation for decades.
“The cover-up was deliberate and allowed abuse of children to continue. This is completely unacceptable.
“An apology is not good enough in this instance. The ongoing criminal investigation must now hold those responsible to account.
“Children have been failed in so many different ways in this State over the years. The only way we will get adequate answers and justice for the victims of these crimes is through thorough investigations by An Garda Síochána.
“It is difficult for the many branches of the organisation that do excellent work with children but it is clear that the organisation is rotten at its core and people must be held responsible for allowing this to happen.
“It is possible that the organisation may have to be disbanded completely following this as it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for parents to feel confident that their children are in a safe environment.
“But first and foremost, justice must be carried out on behalf of those who were abused. We must see that those responsible for these crimes and the subsequent cover-ups are held to account and brought to justice.”