Scouting staff fear for service
by Bernard Harbor
Fόrsa official Dessie Robinson has written to minister for children Katherine Zappone seeking assurances that her decision to withhold state funding from Scouting Ireland won’t undermine services or prevent the payment of salaries.
Significant state funding has been withheld pending an examination of the organisation’s governance, including its handling of child protection allegations.
Scouting Ireland received over €875,000 from the Department last year. A spokesperson for the minister recently told the Irish Times, that further funding would be withheld “until such time as she is satisfied with the governance of the organisation.”
In his letter to the Minister, Dessie said staff in the organisation agreed that Scouting Ireland should follow best practice regarding governance issues, particularly with regard to child protection. “However, they also have serious concerns that the sudden withdrawal of funding could impact negatively on the services they provide on behalf of their employer,” he said.
“You will understand that staff also have fears about the impact that funding withdrawal could have on their own livelihoods,” he added.