Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 13 March 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs
Governance and Child Safeguarding Issues in Scouting Ireland: Tusla and Scouting Ireland
I accept that and thank Mr. Smyth for his response. Recommendation No. 4 relates to the child safeguarding statement. Scouting Ireland has said publicly that it was compliant with the requirement for such a statement and that Tusla had told the organisation that it was compliant. However, the document before us today infers that Scouting Ireland was not compliant. Mr. Smyth has said that the organisation is not compliant with the Children First guidelines. There is a massive gulf here. I respect entirely what Ms Creamer said about the surprise on all sides but my surprise, as Chairman of this committee, is that Scouting Ireland, according to Tusla, is not compliant with child safety guidelines. That is a surprise to me, as Chairman of this committee. It was probably a surprise to other members of this committee too. Scouting Ireland was informed that it was compliant with the Children First guidelines but now Tusla is saying that it is not. When did that change happen? I would like to understand how we came to that point at this meeting, rather than over a period of weeks and months, if not years, of working with an organisation such as Scouting Ireland or any other volunteer-led organisation for that matter.