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'last resort' Homeless charity rocked by sex allegations against late Anthony Flynn to be wound up

The judge noted the petition to wind up the company was "very unusual", as it was solvent with a net asset surplus of some €850,000

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Anthony Flynn, who founded ICHH, died in August

Anthony Flynn, who founded ICHH, died in August

Anthony Flynn, who founded ICHH, died in August

The High Court has granted the Charities Regulator an order for the winding-up of the operating company of Dublin charity Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH).

James Doherty SC, for the regulator, said his client was seeking the wind-up of the solvent company on just and equitable grounds.

He said this was to ensure books and records could be secured and the charity's position preserved for stakeholders and service users. It would also allow for a transition of services.

With no objection to the regulator's request, Mr Justice Brian O'Moore made the order yesterday and appointed Kieran Wallace as the official liquidator.

The judge noted the petition to wind up the company was "very unusual", as it was solvent with a net asset surplus of some €850,000. However, in making the orders, he said the company's governance creates an "ongoing challenge".

ICHH was rocked by controversy after allegations of sexual assault were made against its founder and CEO Anthony Flynn. Mr Flynn was suspended by the company and died by suicide in August.

He had been under investigation by gardaí in relation to two alleged sexual assaults. Subsequently, another two men claimed they were also sexually assaulted by him.

Mr Justice O'Moore said the appointment of Mr Wallace was justified for a number of reasons, including that it would bring the company into independent hands and allow for books and records to be secured. The judge praised the work done by ICHH's volunteers, which he said "verges on the heroic".

Last month, the Charities Regulator secured a court order appointing Mr Wallace as a provisional liquidator to ICHH's operating company.

The application had been made as a "last resort" in the public interest, James Doherty SC, for the regulator, had told the court. In an affidavit, Helen Martin, chief executive of the regulator, said she became aware on July 28 this year of a concern relating to alleged sexual assaults by a member of the company on vulnerable service users.

She forwarded the complaint to gardaí the following day and also sought certain information from the company.

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Stephen Brady BL, for Mr Wallace, said yesterday that the provisional liquidator had managed to ensure the charity's outreach, day, and food distribution services have continued, pending a suitable solution.

The case management service, supporting about 150 clients experiencing housing difficulties, ceased on August 23, he said.

According to the provisional liquidator's report, Mr Wallace and his team have been working with the Dublin Region Homeless Executive department of Dublin City Council to explore options to transition the charity's services to alternative providers.

Any changes will be communicated to people who currently rely on ICHH services.

Gary Daly, a former director of the ICHH, said the directors did not have an objection to the regulator's application.

At Mr Daly's request, Mr Justice O'Moore granted a 21-day extension for the submission of the directors' statement of affairs.

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