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

10:00 am

Photo of Anne RabbitteAnne Rabbitte (Galway East, Fianna Fail)
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For the benefit of all the viewers watching this meeting, when I ask these questions it is not a criticism of any of the scouters or the people working on the ground who do remarkable work. It is important that is said repeatedly but we have to tease out the reason there is a spotlight on Scouting Ireland, which does amazing work as do its leaders throughout the country, and try to prevent future spotlights on this area. In terms of the reason I ask these questions, it is my understanding, and Dr. Lawlor can correct me if I am wrong, that there was a gap. Whether it is called a child protection officer or a safeguarding manager my understanding is that there was a gap in child protection at the highest level at some level along the line. Dr. Lawlor might clarify that for me. Was there a gap in child protection? Mr. Tennant said he was out last weekend and he was looking at the tent, and that the policies and procedures are in place, but when an audit is conducted it is not sent out to every one of the 200 tents that were put up in the past number of years. They are auditing headquarters. Were there gaps in terms of the child protection officer, manager or whatever one wants to call it in the past two or three years in Scouting Ireland?