Child Protection

The safety and wellbeing of every member of the club is our primary concern and the reason we have the following policies in place:

Safety Protocols Child Protection Officer

Policies & Safety Protocols

Accompanying Mothers:

It is desirable to have a woman connected with the club (other than a coach) accompany the rowers on regattas to be on hand in case of incidents and upsets. It is essential to have such a woman accompany our female rowers when proceeding to the National Championships or any other overnight stay.

Protocol for Emergencies During Rowing Events

This protocol is to cover emergency situations that can occur with a rower at an event for the Rowing Season.
This is not developed to cover every possible type of incident but is simply a basic guidance protocol.

If a rower is taken ill or suffers an accident at a rowing event/regatta at which neither parents nor guardians are in attendance, the Rowing Club will be required to ensure that the rower receives appropriate attention.

The level of attention can range from simply using the club first aid kit, to local first aid possibly from Civil Defence or Order of Malta personnel in attendance at the event and, more seriously, to calling a doctor or ambulance depending on the perceived level of attention required.

  1. There will be a designated adult (parent/guardian), nominated by the rowing club, who will take charge in the case of an emergency situation involving a rower at a regatta.
  2. The decision to seek attention/medical assistance for a rower, and the level of such attention, will be determined by the Rowing Club designated adult on site.
  3. Contact will be made with the parents/ guardians at the earliest possible moment by the designated adult or by someone delegated by the designated adult to do so.
  4. Correct contact numbers for parents and guardians must be available to the club and the designated person will hold these numbers for each event.
  5. If a rower has to receive attention from personnel not associated with the Rowing Club, the rower will be accompanied at all times by the designated adult from the Rowing Club.
  6. Parents/guardians must accept that the decision making in this matter will be made by the designated adult from the Rowing Club on site. This person is acting in a voluntary capacity without any specialist training or qualifications and cannot be held in way liable in regards to actions taken in the perceived best interest of the rower.
  7. In an incident of this nature, the designated adult must be available to accompany the rower at all times following the incident. This requirement will mean that this person must not be involved in other duties, i.e. coaching, driving or mentoring others at the event.
  8. Should a rower require off site medical attention, i.e. attendance at an A&E Department, this person must accompany the rower and remain in attendance until the rower returns to the group or is joined by parents/guardian.
  9. Regardless of the type of attention the rower requires, the designated adult will ensure that the rower can communicate with their parent/guardian at the earliest opportunity and that the rower has access to a method of communication with their parent/guardian at all times.
  10. If the incident occurs late in the day or evening this may mean that transport arrangements are compromised or, in particular incidents, an overnight stay could be necessary for the rower and the designated adult.
  11. The Rowing Club will cover all costs incurred by the designated adult in dealing with any such incident.
  12. It is essential that all parents/guardians alert the Rowing Club, in particular the coaches, regarding any medical condition relating to the rower which could affect their rowing or attendance at a rowing event/regatta.

Child Protection Officer

As Child Protection Officer, Francesca Counihan is the contact person for rowers, parents or coaches regarding concerns about bullying or abuse.
Francesca can be contacted via the following email address:

CIRC Child Protection Guidelines in the event of concerns/reports of abuse

Coláiste Iognáid Rowing Club Guidelines for Child Protection in the event of concerns/reports of abuse

(adapted from 'Child Protection Policy and Code of Behaviour for Working with Children/Young People' issued by The National Children's Office')

All coaches, rowers' parents and committee members should be aware, or should be easily able to ascertain, who is the club CPO. His/her name and current contact details will be available on the club web site and told to coaches. They should be told that any concerns/reports of child abuse should be made/passed to the CPO.

Child abuse can be categorised into four different types: neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. A child may be subjected to one or more forms of abuse at any given time.

The CPO should be informed by any person involved with the club (parent, coach etc.) who has 'reasonable grounds' for concern that a child may have been abused, or is being abused, or is at risk of abuse. A suspicion that is not supported by any objective indicator of abuse or neglect would not constitute reasonable grounds of for concern. The following examples would constitute reasonable grounds for concern:

A specific indication from the child that s/he was abused; an account by the person who saw the child being abused; evidence such as injury or behaviour which is consistent with abuse and unlikely to be caused in any other way; an injury or behaviour, which is consistent both with abuse and with an innocent explanation but where there are corroborative indicators supporting the concern that it may be a case of abuse. An example of this would be a pattern of injuries, an implausible explanation, other indications of abuse, dysfunctional behaviour; consistent indication, over a period of time, that a child is suffering from emotional or physical neglect.

In the event of a child/young person disclosing an incident of abuse it is essential that this is dealt with sensitively and professionally by the club volunteer involved. The following are guidelines to support the volunteer in this:

    React calmly;
  • Listen carefully and attentively; take the young person seriously
  • Reassure the young person that they have taken the right action in talking to you
  • Do not promise to keep anything secret

  • Ask questions for clarification only. Do not ask leading questions
  • Check back with the child/young person that what you have heard is correct and understood
  • Do not express any opinions about the alleged abuser
  • Record the conversation as soon as possible, in as much detail as possible. Sign and date the record
  • Ensure that the child/young person understands the procedures which will follow
  • Pass the information to the Child Protection Officer, do not attempt to deal with the problem alone
  • Treat the information confidentially

The reporting procedure for dealing with disclosures, concerns or allegations of child abuse is outlined:

  • The volunteer who has received a disclosure of child abuse or who has concerns of abuse, should bring it to the attention of the Child Protection Officer immediately.
  • The Child Protection Officer will assess and review the information that has been provided. The CPO may contact the HSE for informal advice relating to the allegation, concern or disclosure.
  • After consultation with the HSE officials, the Child Protection Officer will then take one of two options:
    • Report the allegation, concern or disclosure to the HSE or
    • Not make a formal report to HSE but keep a record of the concerns on file. The reasons for not reporting the allegation, concern or disclosure will be clearly recorded. The employee/volunteer who made the initial report will be informed if a formal report is not being made to the HSE and it is open to him/her to make a formal report themselves, directly to the relevant authority if they feel this is necessary.
  • Where a formal report is made the HSE will then liaise with An Garda Síochána. It is likely that the HSE will want to speak to the person who first made the report to clarify facts and the circumstances of the report.
  • October 2013