The Board of St John Ambulance has appointed Dr. Geoffrey Shannon as the head of an independent probe into the handling of historical child sex abuse allegations.
Dr. Geoffrey Shannon is a leading authority on child law and is the Government’s former Special Rapporteur on Child Protection.
As a result of an investigation by the Irish Times in August 2020, it emerged that three men had been sexually abused in the 1990s by a senior figure in St John Ambulance. Tusla deemed these abuse allegations to be founded. Subsequently, two further victims have come forward. The alleged abuser was a senior figure in the Old Kilmainham division.
He had been a member from the 1950s and left between 2000 and 2001. Speaking about the appointment of Dr. Geoffrey Shannon, the Minister for Children Roderic O’ Gorman said, “I welcome the appointment of Dr. Shannon to conduct this important and note his extensive experience and expertise in this area”.
Minister O’ Gorman commended those that “have at an immense personal cost in some cases, had the courage to share their experiences” and he encouraged those with information relating to the abuse allegations to speak to Dr. Shannon. Dr. Shannon will also review the current standard of child safeguarding within St John Ambulance.
St John Ambulance will be providing details on its website in the coming days for anyone who wishes to speak with Dr Shannon