General

More Than 300 Affected by Scouting Ireland Sexual Abuse

Over 300 alleged victims have been identified to have been sexually abused by members of Scouting Ireland after a review of historical files was carried out.

317 victims and 212 abusers have been identified in this case by Scouting Ireland after they conducted a review of historical files and opened a confidential phone line.

Scouting Ireland could face up to 40 civil cases next year, which is claimed to be a blow to the organisation.

The historic files are being handled and audited by Ian Elliott, safeguarding expert while also interviewing previous staff and volunteers of the organisation dating back to the 1970s.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone issued the newest figures in the case after numbers were confirmed by Scouting Ireland.

She stated that the figures came from both historical files but also victims coming forward with similar claims.

108 more victims and 71 abusers have been identified since the initial report was released in November.

Zappone has also said that she believes the figure of cases will “in all probability increase” as of more helplines opening for victims.

The minister also said that the increases that have already been seen is “a matter of grave concern and once again underline the serious challenges facing Scouting Ireland”.

Daniel O’Connell, a solicitor with Coleman Legal Partners, has said that the firm has received around 25 clients making claims of abuse allegations.

“A lot of the abuse seems to have taken place during the 1970s and perhaps as late as the mid-1980s, but there are instances and cases where the abuse is significantly more recent,” O’Connell told the Sunday Business Post.

“People have been bringing cases against Scouting Ireland on a continuing basis. This is not something that just began in the last month or so.”

Tusla, state child protection agency, also opened a helpline in order to provide their services, however, it is no longer in service.