Terms of Reference for Review of Handling of Past Complaints of Abuse St John Ambulance Ireland

Terms of Reference (ToR)

St John Ambulance Ireland (SJAI) is aware of a number of complaints of sexual abuse of members under the age of 18 years relating to one former volunteer member who ceased volunteering with SJAI circa 2000/1.  The Board of St John Ambulance Ireland has commissioned an independent review to undertake a review of the adequacy and effectiveness of:


  • the manner in which the aforesaid complaints in relation to sexual abuse made to the SJAI were dealt with when first madetaking into account government guidance and SJAI policies on child protection available at that time (see Appendix I); the manner in which such complaints were dealt with when re-reported in 2013 taking into account government guidance on child protection and SJAI policies available at that time (see Appendix I);
  • whether there were any other complaints (whether in writing or verbal to any person in a position of authority)  regarding grooming or abuse in relation to the volunteer concerned over his period of involvement with SJAI, and
  • any other complaints (whether in writing or verbal to any person in a position of authority) relating to any other individual based on reports made to and/or records held by SJAI: and


  • the adequacy of arrangements now in place for the protection of children and vulnerable adults who may come into membership of SJAI having regard to TUSLA’s assessment in July 2019;

all with a view to identifying learning and making recommendations for the organisation.

The Report will be to the Board of SJAI.

Members of SJAI will offer full co-operation with the reviewer as she/he determines.

Process as to how the Review will be conducted

The Review will consist of:

  • A review of files held by 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 roles and responsibilities in relation to any complaints he/she may have  had reported to him/her in his/her time in SJAI;
  • An opportunity for any Member of SJAI 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/her at his/her  request to share any information or insights he/she may have on how past complaints were managed;
  • The SJAI “point-of-contact” for the Review is the Commissioner supported by A/Commissioner P Corcoran.

Details of the arrangements on how to contact Dr Shannon with any relevant information will be posted when the Review commences in the coming weeks. 

David J Strahan,
Chairman of the Board of SJAI

John Hughes,
Commissioner, SJAI

7th March 2021