Scouting Ireland must implement all findings of Independent Review in full – Farrell

-   Alan Farrell TD

A Fine Gael TD has said Scouting Ireland must implement all the recommendations of the Independent Review in full, and the restoration of funding for the organisation for three months will allow them to do this.

Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Children and Youth Affairs Committee, Alan Farrell said: “I am pleased that the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, has decided to restore funding to Scouting Ireland for three months following their commitment to implement the recommendations of the Independent Review carried out by Jillian van Turnhout.

“It is vital that Scouting Ireland implements these comprehensive recommendations in full and the restoration of funding for three months will allow them to do this.

“This timeframe will allow Scouting Ireland to take these necessary actions. However it is also an important signal from Government that funding cannot and will not be provided to organisations who fail to implement policies and practices to ensure our children, and all members, are protected to the highest possible standards at all times.

“The recommendations outlined in the Independent Review cover the areas of safeguarding, management of the organisation, governance, and charities legislation.

“The fact that Scouting Ireland has already made progress in implementing these recommendations, and that the Board has unanimously decided to implement them in full is positive. It also shows that Scouting Ireland fully comprehend the task ahead of them in terms of rebuilding trust in the organisation.

“It is shocking that the development of a disciplinary code which includes a mechanism for the suspension and expulsion of members is something which actually has to be recommended to any organisation with such a large membership, particularly where so many of its members are children and young adults.

“Scouting Ireland local groups are an important part of many communities nationwide. As a result of this, they have responsibility for a large number of minors, and must take all necessary action to ensure that parents and guardians are reassured that their children are safe.

“As Chair of the Oireachtas Children and Youth Affairs Committee, I will be engaging with my committee colleagues to ensure we are kept abreast of all developments within the organisation, and that all of the recommendations outlined in the Independent Review are implemented in full, and completed in a timely manner.”

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