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Expert appointed to assess governance and safeguarding at Scouting Ireland

The review is expected to be completed in April this year.

Image: Shutterstock

AN EXPERT HAS been appointed to carry out an independent assessment of governance and safeguarding at Scouting Ireland.

Brigid McManus has been tasked with investigating whether Scouting Ireland has made progress in implementing recommendations made in a 2018 review, which identified significant shortfalls at the youth organisation.

McManus was selected for the role by children and youth affairs minister Katherine Zappone. She is a former Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.

The review is expected to be completed in April this year.

Scouting Ireland said it welcomed the appointment of McManus, adding that it provided Minister Zappone with a comprehensive report in governance in October 2019.

Scouting Ireland CEO Anne Griffin said the organisation is “immediately” available to engage with McManus.

We have invested heavily in putting strong governance structures in place and we look forward to assisting Ms McManus and we will co-operate fully with her as she undertakes her review.

The 2018 review was carried out by children’s rights advocate Jillian van Turnhout. It found dozens of alleged abusers at Scouting Ireland with most cases dating between the 1960s and 1980s.

Minister Zappone previously cancelled the organisation’s state funding due to inadequate governance arrangements.

Zappone also said that senior members of Scouting Ireland responded inappropriately to media reports of serious allegations of abuse.

Scouting Ireland, the modern organisation, was founded when the two scouting traditions Scouting Association of Ireland and the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland joined together in 2003. It has a membership of roughly 50,000 people country-wide.

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Ceimin Burke

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