professional fees | 

Anthony Flynn's homeless charity hit by €230k legal bill following liquidation

Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) was liquidated after allegations of rape surfaced against Anthony Flynn in August last year

Maeve SheehanSunday Independent

A homeless charity that was forced to shut down following allegations of sexual abuse against its founder and chief executive must pay professional fees of more than €230,000.

Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) was liquidated at the request of the Charities Regulator after allegations of rape surfaced against Anthony Flynn in August last year.

The organisation had net assets of €721,134, including €660,000 in the bank for homeless services at the time of its closure.

Liquidator’s fees are listed as €173,000 and a final provision of €57,691 has been made for legal fees charged by William Fry.

The fees for both were charged at court-approved rates.

Once professional fees are deducted and the bills are settled, the charity’s funds are expected to record a surplus of €223,431, according to the liquidator’s report by Kieran Wallace of KPMG.

ICHH was plunged into turmoil when two men alleged serious sexual assault against Flynn.

Two months into their investigation, gardaí informed the charity of the allegations. Mr Flynn was suspended and he took his own life 11 days later.

David Hall, the chairman of the charity, had appointed a senior counsel to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations. However, he stood down weeks later following threats to his personal safety.

The Charities Regulator asked the High Court to appoint a liquidator, and the independent review of the allegations was discontinued.

Hall criticised the Charities Regulator for liquidating the charity, saying it had the cheaper option of appointing a High Court inspector.

He added that the barrister’s inquiry into the allegations of sexual assault ended when the charity was wound up, but no alternative inquiry has been set up to establish what happened.

“Serious questions must be asked about the Charity Regulator’s handling of this crisis. They cancelled the only independent investigation [into the allegations of sexual assault].

"And the decision to appoint KPMG as liquidators, rather than an inspector, has led directly to one third of the charity’s funds — donated for homelessness — to be spent on professional fees,” he said.

“I note there is no allowance for compensation or costs incurred by any of the victims, which is a disgrace.”

The Charity Regulator separately appointed inspectors to review governance at ICHH. Mr Hall has challenged that appointment in court.

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