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garda probe Investigation to continue into sex assault claims against homeless CEO Anthony Flynn

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Anthony Flynn, pictured in 2020, had indicated he would be stepping away from his role with Inner City Helping Homeless. Photo: Gareth Chaney /Collins

Anthony Flynn, pictured in 2020, had indicated he would be stepping away from his role with Inner City Helping Homeless. Photo: Gareth Chaney /Collins

Anthony Flynn, pictured in 2020, had indicated he would be stepping away from his role with Inner City Helping Homeless. Photo: Gareth Chaney /Collins

Garda investigations into sexual assault allegations against the late charity CEO Anthony Flynn are continuing as a new report outlines the serious nature of the complaints made.

The 12-page document also details the threats against interim chair David Hall and how his personal home security was being discussed in an inner-city pub following Mr Flynn’s death by suicide.

Setting out the events surrounding Mr Flynn’s suspension, it said Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) received an email from the Charity Regulator on July 30, asking if they were aware of complaints of vulnerable homeless women being sexually exploited.

Staff, including the CEO, denied any knowledge of this.

The following day, the allegations were discussed, with the report noting that “various suggestions were made by [Flynn] as to who this could relate to”.

He again denied knowing of any allegation against any person.

On August 3, Mr Hall was informed of “serious complaints” against a named member of staff, who was subsequently asked to leave the office while the matter was investigated.

In a Zoom meeting with the board a day later, Mr Flynn assured them there were no complaints of that nature and a letter was sent to the Charities Regulator on August 5 informing the oversight body of this.

However, that evening, at around 5pm, the charity received an email claiming that “the gardaí and the sexual assault unit were investigating an alleged sexual assault by a member of ICHH staff”.

The report states that this email contained “serious allegations”.

Mr Flynn, who was also a Dublin city councillor, was contacted about the complaints and denied any knowledge of a garda investigation into any member of ICHH.

A decision was made to contact gardaí, and at midday on August 7, Mr Hall received a phone call from a senior detective based at Store Street garda station.

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The report states that Mr Hall was informed gardaí were investigating two sexual assault complaints against Mr Flynn.

It was the first time ICHH knew of the garda probe, and the CEO was immediately suspended for not informing the board of the serious allegations against him.

One of these involved an “extremely vulnerable” 21-year-old male who said he took a taxi, paid for on the charity’s account, to Mr Flynn’s home before he was drugged and sexually assaulted last May.

The alleged victim woke up the following day and later went to a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU), at which point gardaí were called and took a statement from him.

Two weeks later, another complainant came forward making an allegation of being sexually assaulted in similar circumstances to the first man.

Mr Flynn’s home was searched twice with, forensics carried out and his work phone seized.

The charity’s CEO claimed that these allegations were “more bulls**t”, but later confirmed he would be stepping away from the charity.

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Councillor Anthony Flynn, chief executive of Inner City Helping Homeless (Brian Lawless/PA)

Councillor Anthony Flynn, chief executive of Inner City Helping Homeless (Brian Lawless/PA)

Councillor Anthony Flynn, chief executive of Inner City Helping Homeless (Brian Lawless/PA)


In the interim, Mr Flynn had asked what staff knew of his absence, and welfare checks were also arranged to be carried out on him.

Five days later, on August 12, attempts were made to deliver a letter to him in relation to a disciplinary meeting the following week.

News of the criminal investigation had also begun to circulate, while the charity began receiving media enquiries.

That evening, the Irish Independent first reported serious and credible allegations were being made against a Dublin politician.

The following Monday, August 16, Mr Flynn did not attend the disciplinary meeting for health reasons. He did forward a password to Mr Hall linked to the charity’s taxi app account.

Two days later, Mr Flynn took his life.

The report states that, when Mr Hall went toward the home, “some people that had gathered shouted abuse” at him.

The heightened tensions and a series of warnings issued to Mr Hall in the subsequent days later led to him standing down as ICHH chairperson. Gardaí informed him he should not visit the charity’s offices, as did the deceased’s family when speaking to other staff.

The report states it was being said Mr Hall “and the board had murdered their son” and that Mr Flynn had told people close to him that efforts were being made to “oust him from the charity”.

At one stage, information was passed to Mr Hall that the gate code to his home was being discussed in an inner-city pub. A friend of Mr Flynn had previously carried out work there.

The anger locally was evident. Another man came forward to say he was fearful of being attacked after his name was circulated for making “unfounded allegations”.

By August 26, Mr Hall tendered his resignation to the board.

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David Hall

David Hall

David Hall


Earlier that day, a third man came forward who said he had secured accommodation through Mr Flynn – the unit was the same one given to the first alleged victim.

He claimed Mr Flynn sent him texts asking for sex and transferred him money via Revolut to buy cocaine.

Early this month, a fourth male made a sexual assault allegation against Mr Flynn.

The man had lost his job earlier in the year and, facing the prospect of eviction, turned to the charity boss for help.

Again the complaint related to a taxi being sent to collect the person, which then took him to Mr Flynn’s home, where he was allegedly assaulted.

There are further allegations contained in the report – threats had been made against the person and his phone was taken by Mr Flynn.

This individual has also given a statement to gardaí and counselling has been organised for them.

The report will be discussed by members of the charity, including the board, in the coming days and barrister Remy Farrell has been appointed to conduct a review into the controversy.

There are also other issues that remain.

Despite his death, detectives are still continuing to investigate the sexual assault allegations against Mr Flynn.

He had not nominated anyone to take over his council seat in the event it was vacated.

The Worker’s Party has put forward Éilis Ryan to fill it.

There are also questions about the future of the charity, co-founded by Mr Flynn, and whether it is sustainable long-term following a series of resignations and failure to elect a new board.

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