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Historical Abuse at St. John Ambulance

In 2018 Dr. Geoffrey Shannon was asked to conduct an independent investigation into allegations of historical child abuse at St. John’s Ambulance Ireland. Dr. Shannon was the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection for the Irish Government from 2006 to 2019. He is a Senior Counsel and a senior lecturer in Family Law and Child Law at the Law Society of Ireland.

Historical Abuse at St. John Ambulance in Ireland


Emergency vehicles, Croke Park

Tusla conducted a statutory investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse. The investigation centered on reports by several men of historical sexual abuse by a former senior member of the organisation in its Old Kilmainham division. The former member had been involved in the organisation from the 1950s until around 2000 when he was pressured into resigning after a survivor reported the abuse. In September 2019, Tusla’s investigations deemed that those allegations were founded. Following Tusla’s findings, St. John’s Ambulance Ireland undertook to have an independent review carried out.

Terms of reference for the review

On the 8th of March 2021, the Terms of Reference of the Review were published by Saint John’s Ambulance Ireland.  These were

  • A review of files held by Saint John’s Ambulance Ireland (SJAI) on past Safeguarding complaints;
  • An opportunity for complainants to meet confidentially with the Reviewer and to outline their experiences of making Safeguarding complaints to SJAI;
  • An opportunity for the Reviewer to meet with any Member of SJAI with a view to understanding that person’s role and responsibilities in relation to any complaints he/she may have reported to him/her in his/her time in SJAI;
  • An opportunity for any Member of SJAO identified by a complainant as a recipient of a complaint to inform the Reviewer in relation to his/her actions on foot of his/her receipt of any such complaint;
  • Former Members of SJAI are encouraged to assist the Reviewer by meeting him at his request to share any information or insights he/she may have on how past complaints were managed;

On the 31st of October 2022, members of SJAI were informed that Dr. Shannon had completed his review. To date this has not yet been published as Dr. Shannon awaits some assurances regarding Data Protection issues. The report is anxiously awaited by those affected by abuse at the hands of members of the organisation.

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Our Personal Injury Solicitors

We act on behalf of both adults and children who are victims and survivors of sexual abuse, as well as those who were sexually abused as children but are now adults seeking to vindicate their rights following abuse perpetrated upon them as a minor.

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Clodagh Magennis

Clodagh Magennis

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