In The News podcast: How a sex abuse scandal rocked the scouting movement

Reporter Jack Power talks to Conor Pope about the abuse scandal at Scouting Ireland

In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

 

In early 2018 things started to unravel for Ireland’s scouting movement. For decades it had stood as a paragon of honour and wholesome positivity but then sex abuse scandals and grave concerns about the management of the organisation saw it facing an existential threat like never before.

First there was a stark report written by child protection expert Ian Elliott which pulled no punches in making it clear that Scouting Ireland’s dysfunctional approach to child protection had put the organisation at risk of “extinction”.

The approach to safeguarding policy from some senior figures was “reckless and inappropriate” and its handling of a rape allegation involving two adult volunteers, was described as “deeply flawed”.

Irish Times reporter Jack Power broke the story in late February 2018, after which leading figures stepped aside before ultimately being expelled.

This initial controversy would eventually lead to revelations of major historical child sexual abuse involving Scouting Ireland’s two predecessor bodies: the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland (CBSI) and Scout Association of Ireland.

Most recently Power reported that an organised “clique” of child abusers operated at high levels in the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland (CBSI), sharing knowledge with each other and in some cases providing children for others in the group to molest.

On today’s In the News podcast, Power talks to Conor Pope about the abuse scandal at Scouting Ireland and where the organisation can go now, as it seeks to unshackle itself from a troubled and troubling past and look towards a brighter future.

In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

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