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Zappone confirms over 200 alleged abusers now identified in Scouting Ireland probe

Minister Katherine Zappone said it’s likely the numbers could increase again.

Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

MINISTER KATHERINE ZAPPONE has said that she has received an update from Scouting Ireland that it has now identified 212 alleged historical abusers as part of its internal probe.

Based on the continued review of the historical files and 123 calls to a confidential helpline, 317 alleged victims have also been identified.

This number has climbed considerably since the minister said last month that 71 alleged abusers had been identified as well as 108 alleged victims. 

Scouting Ireland has been conducting an internal probe into claims of historic abuse, and most of the cases identified dated between the 1960s and 1980s. Safeguarding expert Ian Elliott is heading the review. 

Zappone said in November that her understanding was that those alleged abusers were no longer working at the organisation, and that the CEO of Scouting Ireland confirmed to her that reports have been made to An Garda Síochána and Tusla.

Those who have already come forward must be properly supported and counselled, Zappone said, adding that the same level of support must be offered to any further victims who come forward.

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She said: “The increase in the number of alleged victims and alleged perpetrators identified during the past two weeks are a matter of grave concern and once again underline the serious challenges facing Scouting Ireland. 

As more people come forward with further information to Scouting Ireland, Tusla the child and family agency, Gardaí and other front-line support services these numbers will in all probability increase. 
The public should be aware of this. All the agencies involved continue to work on providing verified figures. 

The Scouting Ireland confidential Freephone helpline is 1800 221199. It is operational from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday. Tusla has also put a confidential helpline in place, 1800 805665 and this is operational from  9am to 4pm.   

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Sean Murray

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