Two Scouting Ireland directors who claimed infighting was jeopardising child protection removed

Jacques Kinane and Donnachadha Reynolds said move at EGM was an effort to silence them as whistleblowers

Two Scouting Ireland directors have been pushed off the youth organisation’s board after scouting group delegates voted for their removal at an EGM held in Dublin on Sunday.

Jacques Kinane and Donnachadha Reynolds previously claimed that infighting among board members at the youth organisation jeopardised the integrity of its child protection standards before their removal from the board.

In a statement, the board of Scouting Ireland said it welcomed the outcome of the vote, held during the EGM at the Helix conference centre in Glasnevin. “The board will now move to co-opt two new directors from the membership and will move forward with its programme of work in support of scouting groups and young people throughout Ireland,” a spokeswoman said.

Mr Reynolds and Mr Kinane had previously stated that the move to remove them from the board equated to an effort to silence them as whistleblowers.


In a statement, the two men expressed disappointment at the outcome of the vote, claiming that the organisation’s membership were “misled” by the current board at the EGM.

They said they were not at liberty to discuss what they perceived to be “illegal activities being condoned and instigated at board level” due to ongoing investigations by the Charities Regulator and Corporate Enforcement Authority. Prior to the EGM, the Scouting Ireland board said in an email to members that the organisation was “responding to information requests from our regulators”, but was not under investigation.

“We look forward to our names being vindicated and being able to tell our story in the future but until then we must rely on the regulatory systems,” the former directors said.

In a statement released before the EGM, Scouting Ireland said that its board “operates in accordance with the principles of good corporate governance and the law”.

The vote to remove Mr Kinane and Mr Reynolds from the board follows months of turmoil within the youth organisation.

In a document sent to members of the Scouting Ireland board last November – and later shared with officials at the Department of Children – the two men claimed that the “integrity” of child protection standards in the youth organisation was in “jeopardy” due to infighting among directors.

They also claimed that concerns they raised about the handling of the membership status of a volunteer, who was later convicted of abusing children, had not been appropriately investigated. They further stated they had concerns about signing off on the organisation’s accounts due to fears that more than 50 High Court cases being taken by abuse survivors seeking compensation could lead to a possible “wipeout”.

Scouting Ireland said the claims made in the document were “without merit” and seemed “designed to undermine the progressive work” of the organisation and damage its reputation. The organisation strongly denied that a safeguarding issue was not investigated properly.

In a February 2nd letter to the board, Mr Reynolds and Mr Kinane claimed they had been subjected to “retaliatory actions” for raising concerns as whistleblowers.

Mr Reynolds has been suspended from the organisation since the middle of last year following a clash with Joe Marken, Scouting Ireland’s interim chief executive, during a board meeting in June.

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher

Fiachra Gallagher is an Irish Times journalist