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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.

Table of Contents

    Historical abuse at St. John Ambulance in Ireland


    Tusla conducted a statutory investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse at St. John Ambulance. 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, Saint John’s Ambulance Ireland published the Terms of Reference of the Review.  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 to understand 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 October 31st, 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. Those affected by abuse at St. John Ambulance anxiously awaited the report.

    Our team

    Coleman Legal LLP Team

    We act on behalf of both adults and children who are victims and survivors of abuse at St. John Ambulance, 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.

    Coleman Legal LLP

    84 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
    D01 YX60

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    Clodagh Magennis

    Clodagh Magennis

    Head of Client Services

    P: 1800-844-104
    E: [email protected]

    ”At Coleman Legal, excellence in customer care is paramount. We aim to meet both prospective and existing client’s needs in a professional, engaging, and friendly manner with a clear objective to give quality legal advice and reach a positive outcome.”

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