Head of Scouting Ireland stepping aside as 'right thing to do'

Update 8pmThe head of Scouting Ireland has confirmed he is stepping aside temporarily.

It follows concerns over how the organisation handled an allegation of sexual assault in 2016.

Christy McCann said the decision was "the right thing to do".

He said he intends to co-operate fully with any inquiries into the issue.

Earlier: Children's Minister Katherine Zappone has said she is withholding funding from Scouting Ireland until she sees change in the organisation.

It follows concerns over how the organisation handled an allegation of sexual assault in 2016.

The accused was not prosecuted and was allowed to return to his role without being garda vetted.

Minister Zappone says she is currently not satisfied with the group's governance standards.

The independent minister told the Dáil she will meet with representatives of the organisation this evening.

Katherine Zappone says the chief scout will be stepping aside from this evening and she is withholding funding until she sees change in the organisation.

She said: "I decided to withhold any further drawdown of funding to Scouting Ireland, until such time that I can be satisfied that the organisation's governance standards are up to the required level.

"As of now, I am not satisfied, and I have a responsibility to children and I have a responsibility for the use of public monies."

- Digital Desk

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