The Children's Minister says she is 'not satisfied' with governance standards in the organisation

The Chief Scout of Scouting Ireland has confirmed he's stepping aside temporarily, saying it's the 'right thing to do'.

It comes amid an investigation into how the organisation handled an allegation of sexual assault in 2016.

A full independent investigation of the allegation is under way, which will also examine the handling of the matter by senior members of the organisation.

Scouting Ireland Chief Scout Christy McCann said he intends to co-operate fully with any inquiries into the issue.

In a statement, he said: "I believe it is in the best interests of our organisation that I [step aside] in order to give adequate time to bring our investigation to a conclusion, noting a deadline of the end of May 2018.

"As Chief Scout and as a co-respondent in the process currently underway, I believe my standing aside is the right thing to do and will help ensure the current process is allowed to continue without delay and further distraction."

Katherine Zappone. Image:

Earlier, Children's Minister Katherine Zappone said she's meeting with representatives of Scouting Ireland this evening.

She told the Dáil: "I decided to withhold any further draw down of funding to Scouting Ireland, until such time that I can be satisfied that the organisation's governance standards are up to the required level.

"As of now, I am not satisfied."