Ex-scout leader arrested over alleged sex abuse released without charge

Abuse alleged to have happened in man’s home, in scout hall and scout camp

A man arrested in connection with an investigation into Scouting Ireland was released without charge on Friday night. File Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

A man arrested in connection with an investigation into Scouting Ireland was released without charge on Friday night. File Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

 

A man arrested in connection with an investigation into Scouting Ireland was released without charge on Saturday.

The former scout leader was arrested and questioned about the sexual abuse of young boys in the city over a 30-year period.

Detectives arrested the man at his home in Cork city at 7am on Friday for questioning after more than 20 men made complaints that they were abused by the man.

The men, who range in age from their 20s to their 40s, have alleged they were each abused by the man when they were teenagers and were alone with him.

They have alleged the abuse happened at various locations including at the man’s home, a scout hall and a scout camp between 1980s and the 2000s.

In some cases the men have alleged the abuse began when the man plied them with alcohol and showed them pornographic movies at his home.

The man was arrested under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 24 hours before they are released or charged.

The man was taken by gardaí to Togher Garda station where he was being questioned by officers on Friday night about the allegations by the complainants.

Gardaí also carried out searches at the man’s home, a business premises, a scout hall and a scout camp all in Cork as well as a holiday residence in Co Kerry.

They seized laptops, mobile phones and other electronic equipment for examination by Garda computer experts to see if they contain any evidence relating to sexual abuse.

In all, more than 20 gardaí including detectives attached to the Protective Services Unit based at Anglesea Street Garda station were involved in the operation.

It is the second time that the man has been arrested by gardaí investigating allegations of child sex abuse by a member of Scouting Ireland in Cork city.

He was previously arrested in October 2018 and questioned for several hours at Togher Garda station before being released without charge.

It is understood the man was stood down by the scouting authorities a number of years ago when they learned of the first complaint made against him.

A file will now be prepared for the information of the Director of Public Prosecutions.