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abuse rife Late charity boss Anthony Flynn said homeless afraid of 'losing beds' if reporting sex assaults in interview

Mr Flynn, who was accused of sexually assaulting two men, was speaking outside the Dail in April


Investigations are continuing into allegations of sexual assault made against Anthony Flynn (Brian Lawless/PA)

Investigations are continuing into allegations of sexual assault made against Anthony Flynn (Brian Lawless/PA)

Investigations are continuing into allegations of sexual assault made against Anthony Flynn (Brian Lawless/PA)

Charity CEO Anthony Flynn claimed homeless people are afraid to report sex assaults in case they “might lose their beds” in an interview weeks before his death. 

Before his death in tragic circumstances in August, 34-year-old Dublin councillor had conducted an interview about the widespread sexual abuse of the homeless in the city.

Speaking outside the Dail in April following the publication of a report, Flynn (34) claimed sex abuse in the homeless sector was widespread.

Weeks later, two men would make statements to gardai alleging he had sexually assaulted them.

On Thursday, one of the alleged victims told RTE he was raped and held against his will for two nights by the 34-year-old Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) founder.

Speaking at the launch of the 'Our Voice, Homelessness Survey, Empowerment to Rights' report, Anthony Flynn claimed that fear was stopping victims going to the gardai.

He said: “Many feel that they might lose their bed if they report in regard to whether they report an issue of sexual assault.

“Many of the individuals feel, basically that they won’t be heard and that nobody is listening to them and that there isn’t a proper complaints procedure in regard to reporting.

“Or even they do report that that report won’t be heard of or won’t be investigated.

“Many feel that they might lose their bed if they report in regard to whether they report an issue of sexual assault or whether it be an issue with regard to their rights being violated within homeless service systems.”

Flynn’s comments were made during an interview with Dublin’s Q102 – and can be heard here.

He spoke following the publication of a report which was conducted by BABS Empowerment Project and Inner City Helping Homeless.

He claimed a third of the one hundred people interviewed (54%) as part of the survey, said they had experienced sexual abuse within the homeless community.

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“Up to a third of the people that were interviewed from the 100 people, had said they experienced some form of sexual assault within homeless services.

“A lot of the wording that was used, it’s ‘our voice’ – that’s what we are coming out with, the voices of those, that have been in homeless services or entrapped.

“A lot of the experiences were traumatic experiences and people feeling they’ve been institutionalised within homeless services and that there was no way out.

“A lot of the wording around the report is alone, depressed, there’s significant issues in regard to substance misuse and mental health.”

He added: “The report is damning to say the least, what we need to hear are the voices of the people in the need to hear the services. It is a traumatic system.”

This week, one of the four men who were allegedly sexually assaulted spoke about the abuse he suffered in an RTE Prime Time interview.

The man, who is referred to only as “John”, claims he was sexually molested after being drugged and was assaulted alongside another young man on the second night.

“I was in a bad way when I met Anthony,” John recalled. “I was in a bad state after losing my job, I was on antidepressants.

"I was vulnerable. I wasn't myself the time when I contacted him.

"I thought he was a saviour, I thought he was a person who was going to help me out.”

The man said that after contacting Flynn on Facebook to explain his situation, and asking could he come to the office, he was told that a taxi would take him from his home to Flynn’s house.

“He sent me a taxi that night and I went straight to his house,” the man recounted.

“He offered me a drink and then I just don't know what happened after the drink.

“I woke up in the middle of the night as well and he came over and, yeah, he did what he did when I was there, still, when I was alert. It just happened all night, that first night, he sexually molested me."

John says he was held against his will at Flynn’s home over two nights. He says he felt the effect of a drug and was out of it.

On the second night he alleges he and another man were assaulted.

“He just raped me that night again, with the young guy as well who was there.

"We were locked there again, me and that young guy. He hit me, I remember he did hit me, and in the end I just became submissive and did whatever he wanted me to do.”

John says he returned to Anthony's home on two further occasions, once when he was sexually assaulted again and another time when the Dublin cllr took his phone from him.

Asked by RTE Prime Time what made him return, John says it was a combination of desperation and fear, yet the effects of the assaults were profound.

“Since then I ended up in a bad situation myself, my mental health. I just had a mental breakdown. I remember I stayed in my house for nearly three months and I never came out.”

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