May 18, 2024

Victims of abuse in Irish scouting ‘failed’ by State – Kilkenny TD

A Kilkenny TD has called for an urgent public inquiry to be launched into Scouting Ireland in the wake of damning revelations made in a TV documentary.

Sinn Féin Children and Youth Affairs spokesperson, Deputy Kathleen Funchion,  called for a public investigation, saying it is unacceptable Scouting Ireland has been allowed to investigate itself, and that it should never have been the case.

The RTÉ Investigates programme, aired last night, revealed how a number of scout leaders sexually abused children without detection, and when complaints were made the organisation failed to pass on the information to the relevant authorities

Deputy Funchion said: “Last night’s RTÉ Investigates programme showed us the heartbreaking reality faced by those let down by Scouting Ireland and the scouting organisations that preceded its formation.

“Children have been failed in so many different ways in this State and the only way we will get adequate answers to how these failures is through a public, independent enquiry.

“This is urgently needed, and I am adding Sinn Féin’s voice to the growing calls for this.

“It should never have been the case – in any situation – that Scouting Ireland should have been left to investigate itself. This serves to undermine the integrity of the investigation as well as push the likelihood of justice being delivered out to touch.

“A public, independent inquiry is the best way to proceed forward, with relevant child protection bodies and government Departments playing a key role as necessary.”

It has been a busy week for Deputy Funchion, who earlier this week launched the Clár for Sinn Féin Ard Fheis 2019, which is being held in Derry this weekend. More than 2,000 Sinn Féin party members will discuss 166 motions across all policy areas.

As the party’s Children and Youth Affairs Deputy Funchion will address many pressing issues affect society, especially coming into an election year.

Deputy Funchion said: “I will be speaking about the urgent need to tackle the current crisis in the Childcare/Early Years sector as well as other critical issues concerning lack of access to education for children with additional needs, food poverty and homelessness.”

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