Scouting Ireland accused of mishandling rape claim

Scouting Ireland has been criticised for its handling of a rape claim against one of its volunteers, with the chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs saying it had questions to answer.

A confidential review had found that Scouting Ireland had failed to ascertain if a scout leader, who had allegedly been accused of rape, was fit to act as a volunteer before being reinstated.

The man had been suspended after a woman alleged in 2016 that she had been raped by him nine years earlier, when she was 18, on a camping trip.

The Director of Public Prosecutions did not pursue a prosecution but gardaí advised the man should undergo garda vetting before being reinstated.

However, the report, carried out by Ian Elliott, formerly of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland, said the recommendation was not acted upon. The man was reportedly promoted within the organisation last year.

Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell, chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, said: “I believe Scouting Ireland must be held to account regarding the reported mishandling of a case of alleged rape within the organisation, particularly given that they receive funding from the State.”


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