The People in Dublin City Come out in their Thousands to Say Farewll to Anthony Flynn and Send a Clear Message to the Gutter Press in Ireland?

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Mourners gather for funeral of homeless campaigner and Dublin City Councillor, Anthony Flynn

Mourners carry the remains of Cllr. Anthony
                  (Anto) Flynn to the Church of our Lady of Lourdes on
                  Sean McDermott Street.
The funeral cortege of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn
                  led by Piper Christy O'Brien heads towards the Inner
                  City Helping Homeless offices on Amiens Street. Photo
                  by Steve Humphreys

Mourners carry the remains of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn to the Church of our Lady of Lourdes on Sean McDermott Street.

 

August 25 2021 02:30 AM


Homeless campaigner and Dublin City Councillor Anthony Flynn has been remembered as a selfless and caring man who gave a voice to the vulnerable and the homeless whose cause he championed.

Cllr Flynn (34) was found dead at his home in East Wall last Wednesday in tragic circumstances.

He founded Inner City Helping Homeless charity in 2013, a voluntary charity that provides outreach support to rough sleepers in the city centre area, and was an outspoken critic of successive governments over the failure to address the housing crisis.

Mr Flynn, who was originally from Dorset Street, contested a seat in the local elections as an Independent north inner-city candidate in 2019.

Family and friends were shocked after his death to learn of recent allegations of sexual assault made against him. Gardaí had made him aware of the allegations, but he had not been arrested or formally questioned at the time of his death.

The funeral cortege of Cllr. Anthony (Anto)
                    Flynn led by Piper Christy O'Brien heads towards the
                    Inner City Helping Homeless offices on Amiens
                    Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

The funeral cortege of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn led by Piper Christy O’Brien heads towards the Inner City Helping Homeless offices on Amiens Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

While the numbers who could attend his funeral at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin’s north inner city was limited to family and close friends due to Covid-19 restrictions, a large number of mourners gathered outside and watched the funeral mass on a large screen erected in the car park.                                                                 

Photographs of Mr Flynn taken on happy occasions in his life were projected onto a large screen on the altar of the church.

The mass was attended by Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland, Br Kevin of the Capuchin Day Centre, and senior management of Dublin City Council as well as fellow councillors.

The funeral cortege of Cllr. Anthony (Anto)
                    Flynn led by Piper Christy O'Brien heads towards the
                    Inner City Helping Homeless offices on Amiens
                    Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

The funeral cortege of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn led by Piper Christy O’Brien heads towards the Inner City Helping Homeless offices on Amiens Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Parish Priest Fr Michael Casey said Mr Flynn had learned at a young age that a neighbour wasn’t just a person who lives next door, but was anyone in need.

“That ‘anyone’, whatever the circumstances or situation, ain’t heavy, as the song says. They are not a burden, they are not a problem to be solved, they are our brother and our sister, and like all of us they are people that want to be loved and cared for, and given the opportunities we all desire,” he added.

“Anto’s legacy tells us very clearly that he cared, was moved with kindness and concern, he had a passion to do something and not to close his eyes. His legacy to all of us is to share a little kindness, be gentle, and reach out and care in this world that all too often has grown to be hard and cold and fearful, judgemental and aggressive.

“We all need to experience kindness and gentleness. Anto had a gentle, strong heart. He could not pass on the other side if he saw somebody in difficulty,” he added.

He prayed that Mr Flynn’s memory live on to inspire us to create a world and a society that he dedicated his young life to.

In his eulogy, friend and fellow Independent councillor Christy Burke told how Anthony had started the Inner City Helping Homeless charity while working in his uncle Greg’s pub, Lloyds on Amiens Street.

It was his suggestion late one night after closing time to hand out the unsold sandwiches to the homeless that sparked an idea that grew into the charity.

“It began by him sitting around a table, having an idea, which he made a reality. He saw and listened, and gave with all his heart to so many vulnerable people in our city and beyond, for which so many people are eternally grateful today,” he said.

Colleagues and friends hug as the funeral
                    cortege of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn passes the
                    Inner City Helping Homeless offices on Amiens
                    Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Colleagues and friends hug as the funeral cortege of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn passes the Inner City Helping Homeless offices on Amiens Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

He gave a voice to people who could not speak. And he made enough noise to let the powers that be know that he wasn’t going anywhere until they took notice. A heart of pure gold he made a mark on this world that will never be erased. And with the continued support of his family and friends his legacy will live on,” he added.

Cllr Burke said Mr Flynn was an inspiration and a hero to the younger generation, and told how he saw him give the jacket off his back to one freezing homeless woman, and the shoes of his feet to a homeless man during night food runs.

A pop up of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn outside
                    the Church of our Lady of Lourdes on Sean McDermott
                    Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

A pop up of Cllr. Anthony (Anto) Flynn outside the Church of our Lady of Lourdes on Sean McDermott Street. Photo by Steve Humphreys

He said he first met a young Anthony twenty years ago when he popped his head into a photograph that was being taken of Mr Burke and the late deputy Tony Gregory, and how the young boy told him he wanted to be a leader.

“His desire to echo the plight of homelessness and disadvantage was nearly contagious,” he added, saying he never looked down on anybody only to help them up.

Mr Flynn is survived by his mother Yvonne, sisters Anita, Lisa and Andrea, nieces and nephews Callum, Ariana, Dawson, Harper, Tristan and Ralph, stepfather Damien, stepsisters Michelle, Tammy and Gemma, grandmother Lolo, and wider family.

After the funeral, Cllr Flynn’s remains were brought past Lloyd’s Bar and the head office of the ICHH charity, both on nearby Amiens Street, before being brought to Dardistown Cemetery for burial.

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