Scouting Ireland faces uncertain future in wake of child sex abuse scandal


The aim of scouting is to help develop young people into independent individuals with good morals, who “know how to treat people well,” he said.

and yet, later in this article, we read this

“At the moment there is only one insurer who is willing to insure Scouting Ireland in this country,” Aisling Kelly told the private meeting. The historic documentation for the CBSI was in “much better shape” than records from the SAI, she said.

If Scouting Ireland is forced to bear the entire cost of lawsuits from past abuse in the SAI itself, the cost is “going to be huge,” McClenaghan said.

and then we come to the enormity of the problem:

Its board is due to consider a range of emergency financial measures at a meeting on Saturday. If the number of alleged victims continues to increase, even selling assets such as scout dens may be considered, Kelly has said.

The Pandora’s box of past child sexual abuse in the organisation, which lay dormant for decades, has now burst open, with the number of abuse survivors coming forward expected to keep increasing.

Scouting Ireland’s board has vowed that nothing will be hidden, and that legacy failings will be addressed transparently. However, current goodwill towards the organisation may not be enough to save it from the sins of the past.

Decorated soldier Baden-Powell killed men for less cause than this.

Think about that the next time you hear some soyed-up hipster scouter blabbering about empowering youth to lead ethical lives blah blah blah.

From one of many articles published recently by the Irish Times. Read it all at irishtimes.com:


Allan Mathews (35) has been involved with scouting since he was eight years old, and is now a leader with the St Patrick’s group, in Dundalk, Co Louth, one of Scouting Ireland’s largest troops in the country.

In the troop den on Thursday night a group of 20 cubs, aged from nine to 11, were learning how to navigate using compasses. Upstairs a larger group of scouts, ranging in age from 12 to 15, played a series of games on their last meeting before Christmas.

The crisis over the historic child sexual abuse scandal facing the century-old youth organisation appeared far removed from the noisy Dundalk scout den.

“My stomach turned, it’s not something that you ever want to hear,” Mathews said, describing the moment he saw the news of the controversy break.

An ongoing review by Scouting Ireland has identified 317 alleged child sex abuse victims, and 212 alleged abusers.

Evidence from the review details abuse that occurred at “all levels within the organisation”, cases where information was “covered up” and alleged perpetrators were permitted to “move from group to group”, Scouting Ireland’s new chairperson Aisling Kelly told a stunned meeting of senior scout leaders on Monday.

“If that was true, that was disgusting, the thought of it is sickening . . . It’s not something that I would ever have been able to comprehend happening,” Mathews said.

“We detest the thoughts of what happened to the poor innocent kids,” he went on, adding that he hoped the gardaí would investigate allegations now surfacing to the fullest extent.

Despite it being the era of the smartphone and computer game, the Dundalk troop’s numbers have increased year on year. The troop has 180 juvenile members, and “we could take 30 more kids tomorrow morning,” Mathews said.

The organisation has taken a hit in relation to the public, but the national scandal has not eroded the trust between parents and local leaders in Dundalk, he said.

In recent months Mathews’s six-year-old son joined the younger “beavers” age group. “It’s a way of life, I could never see myself leaving, I’m in it 27 years [and] it’s something I’m proud of being a part of,” Mathews said.

The aim of scouting is to help develop young people into independent individuals with good morals, who “know how to treat people well,” he said.

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