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'absolutely shocked' Homeless authority calls for charity founded by the late Anthony Flynn to be dissolved

The executive is 'strongly of the view that Inner City Helping Homeless should be dissolved/wound up in an orderly way and as quickly as possible'

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Late councillor Anthony Flynn

Late councillor Anthony Flynn

Late councillor Anthony Flynn

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has said it is “absolutely shocked” by reports they have described as “very serious allegations relating Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH)”. 

The executive has issued a statement this morning saying they are "particularly distressed" that some of our most vulnerable citizens "may have been subjected to serious sexual abuse while seeking support and assistance for their homeless situation."

The statement has been issued in the wake of the death of the charity’s chief executive officer, co-founder and Independent councillor Anthony Flynn.

Cllr Flynn was found dead in his home on 18 August as gardai investigated alleged sexual misconduct involving several individuals.

The 34-year-old was suspended from his post five days prior to his death. He was never arrested and voluntarily made a statement to gardai.

It was reported recently that an emergency General Meeting of the charity Inner City Helping was postponed 'indefinitely' following the circulation of a report detailing the extent of the sexual allegations against Flynn

The report details four allegations of abuse against Flynn as well his persistent denials of any knowledge of the investigations into sexual assault allegations in the lead up to his suspension from the charity.

The report details how one of the allegations came from an "extremely vulnerable" 21-year-old man 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

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Flowers outside the ICHH (Inner City Helping Homeless) offices on Amien Street in Memory of Founder Anthony Flynn. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Flowers outside the ICHH (Inner City Helping Homeless) offices on Amien Street in Memory of Founder Anthony Flynn. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

Flowers outside the ICHH (Inner City Helping Homeless) offices on Amien Street in Memory of Founder Anthony Flynn. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

The alleged victim woke up the following day and later went to a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, at which point gardai 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.”

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has now said it is “strongly of the view that the organisation/charity ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ should be dissolved/wound up in an orderly way and as quickly as possible”.

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“Our main concern is for those affected by the reports circulating in recent weeks, and we are advising anybody who has been a victim of such a crime to report it directly to the Gardaí,” the statement reads.

"We very much welcome the comments from the Garda Commissioner around the issue of vetting those who interact directly with vulnerable homeless persons.

"The DRHE is strongly of the view that greater regulation, vetting, and scrutiny is required for organisations/charities that set themselves up as service providers for homeless persons, including the provision of on-street food services.

"Several such organisations not funded by the DRHE have come into existence in recent years and the DRHE and our partner agencies will be endeavouring in the coming months to bring the necessary expanded scrutiny and regulation to all such organisations."

It adds: "It is important to state that we are not referring to the larger and more established charities that we fund/partner and who we rely very much upon to provide vital accommodation and support services to homeless persons in Dublin by way of comprehensive service level agreements.

"While we do contract a range of homeless service NGOs to provide certain specialist services for the DRHE, ICHH was not a provider of services for us and received no funding from us.

"In relation to the ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ organisation we expect the investigative report commissioned by the former Chair of ICHH (we commend him for doing this) to be published soon and we expect that the Garda investigations on the allegations made will continue and that the outcome of this will also be published in due course.

“We expect that the Charities Regulator will investigate the current deficit in overall governance at the organisation.

"The DRHE is now strongly of the view that the organisation/charity ‘Inner City Helping Homeless’ should be dissolved/wound up in an orderly way and as quickly as possible. Any remaining services provided by ICHH can easily be transitioned into other service providers and the DRHE can assist in that process."

The statement said that it is “most important is that if there are any further victims out there, it is essential that they contact the gardai or if they require professional support and advice, they should contact the Dublin Region Homeless Executive/HSE.

"Over the past 12 months or more there has been a plentiful supply of emergency accommodation for homeless persons and currently there is an adequate number of beds in the system to cater for all who require such accommodation in Dublin," it adds.

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The late Anthony Flynn. Photo: Gareth Chaney

The late Anthony Flynn. Photo: Gareth Chaney

The late Anthony Flynn. Photo: Gareth Chaney

The statement also reveals that the DRHE and the HSE have arranged for a professional advice and support service and appointments can be arranged by contacting 087 3266630 between 10am and 4pm each day.

"Our outreach service (Dublin Simon) and our Housing First Intake Team (Peter McVerry Trust) will also advise homeless persons of this service as they engage with them," it states.

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