Call for expert’s help on Scouting Ireland scandal

The independent child protection expert who helped uncover the Cloyne clerical abuse scandal should be asked to help the Oireachtas uncover the full extent of the Scouting Ireland scandal.

Labour TD Sean Sherlock said he wants the Dáil’s cross-party children’s committee to contact Ian Elliot for advice on how to address the issue after Scouting Ireland refused to attend a public meeting of the group today.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner after Scouting Ireland CEO John Lawlor said he would not meet with the committee in public until his group completes its own investigation by the end of May, Mr Sherlock said the delays are unacceptable.

The Cork East TD said he wants full clarity as soon as possible on the Scouting Ireland abuse claims, and that Mr Elliot, who previously served as chief executive of the National Board of Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, is best placed to help.

“The children and youth affairs committee needs to hear from Ian Elliot at this stage,” said Mr Sherlock. “That would send a positive signal that might go towards restoring some confidence. Mr Elliot has solid form based on his work in Cloyne and is someone that is respected and trusted.”

Mr Sherlock made the request as some children’s committee members hit out at group chair and Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell’s decision to meet privately with Mr Lawlor today.

In an email seen by this newspaper, a number of committee members said they have reservations about the private meeting occurring before a public session. in May or June.


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