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Scouting Ireland announces organiser of Pope Francis visit as new CEO

Anne Griffin will take over from Dr John Lawlor, who has headed the organisation since 2012.

The new CEO of Scouting Ireland Anne Griffin
The new CEO of Scouting Ireland Anne Griffin
Image: Scouting Ireland

SCOUTING IRELAND HAS announced the appointment of Anne Griffin as its new Chief Executive Officer, the first female CEO in the group’s history.

Griffin, who was was general manager of the World Meeting of Families and the visit of Pope Francis I to Ireland last year, will take up her new role in January 2020.

She will take over from Dr John Lawlor, who has headed the organisation since 2012 and overseen a period of controversy for Scouting Ireland, following two years of revelations about governance and child protection issues within the group.

Griffin was also general manager of the International Eucharistic Congress in 2012, and has had high-level roles in the Special Olympics and the European Heart and Lung transplant games.

Speaking about her appointment, she said she was “honoured and excited” to join the organisation.

“As CEO I will support the growth of Scouting Ireland and the development of young people in a safe, professional and fun environment,” she said.

“I look forward to supporting our members, volunteers and staff to be the best that they can be, and ‘showing by doing’ what the scout values are.”

Scouting Ireland chairman Adrian Tennant said the group had found a CEO with a vision that would see it evolve on an all-island basis.

“In her previous roles she has shown strategic planning, good governance and strong communication and leadership skills which will benefit our organisation,” he said.

“The Board and the Executive team look forward to working closely with Anne in the future.”

Scouting Ireland is Ireland’s largest youth education movement, and has over 50,000 volunteers and members across the island of Ireland.

However, the organisation is going through an overhaul in relation to its child protection, governance and complaints procedures.

An internal review last year found evidence of alleged abusers and hundreds of alleged victims, with most cases dating between the 1960s and 1980s, although there may be one from an earlier period.

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