Scouting Ireland has issued a fresh apology to survivors of abuse at the hands of adult volunteers in the past.

The organisation is appearing before the Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.
 
In his opening statement to TDs and senators, Scouting Ireland Chairman Adrian Tennant said the organisation is "very different" to its legacy organisations where abuse occurred. 

He said the picture that has emerged over the past 18 months of its predecessor organisations, the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland and the Scouting Association of Ireland, is "grim and shocking".

Although Scouting Ireland inherited this situation, he said, it has not shirked its responsibility in looking after survivors. 

He said a recent RTÉ Investigates programme shone a searing light on the hurt done to young people, and the organisation recognised the courage and bravery of all survivors who chose to tell their stories.

Mr Tennant said the RTÉ programme made a number of allegations relating to individuals in senior positions in these organisations and their failure to act on information relating to sexual abuse in scout groups across Ireland.

"Whereas we cannot comment on individual cases, we can assure this committee, our parents, guardians, our volunteers and staff, that Scouting Ireland is a very different organisations in which so many were let down and badly treated", he said.

Mr Tennant said Scouting Ireland is as safe an organisation as it can be and it has gone through a huge governance transformation in recent months.
 
He said the organisation again apologises unreservedly to those who were hurt by adult volunteers in these legacy organisations.

"We cannot allow the past to define our present and our future," he said.

"Scouting Ireland is different. Scouting Ireland is and will continue to prioritise safeguarding so that the thousands of children can benefit from scouting in a safe environment."