Council calls for independent review into Dublin homeless charity to be concluded and published
15th September 2021
DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has called on charity Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) to conclude and publish an independent review into “serious matters” that emerged last month. © PA Councillor Anthony Flynn
The Journal understands that an independent review of the organisation is continuing after ICHH said on 12 August that “serious matters have come to the attention of the board”.
“We immediately initiated an investigation and commenced an independent process which we expect recommendations from shortly,” the charity said at the time.
Barrister Remy Farrell SC was appointed to conduct the independent review and evaluate the issues of concern in relation to the recent “serious matters” at the charity.
The Dublin homeless charity has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks following allegations made against its founder and former chief executive Anthony Flynn.
In May, gardaí began investigating claims by two men that they were sexually assaulted or exploited by Flynn at his property. At least one of the men had sought assistance from the charity ahead of the alleged assault.
The allegations were brought to the board’s attention in August. Flynn denied any wrongdoing but the board of ICHH suspended him after it became clear he had not disclosed the garda investigation to them following earlier inquiries by the Charities Regulator in June.
Flynn had been questioned by gardaí but was not arrested or charged. On 18 August, he was found dead after taking his own life.
It is understood that at least two more complainants have since come forward with similar allegations against Flynn.
A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said it does not comment on specifics of ongoing cases.
Reviews and investigations
Following Flynn’s death, it was unclear if the independent review by Remy Farrell would be completed.
The Council, which oversees the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE), has called for the review to be concluded quickly and published. One source indicated the Council has been concerned about a lack of transparency around the future of the process on the part of the charity in recent weeks.
David Hall, who had taken over as interim chair of ICHH, stood down in late August citing threats to his personal safety as the reason for his resignation.
Hall last week wrote to Justice Minister Heather Humphreys outlining concerns about the delay between the start of the garda investigation in May and the charity being notified of it on 7 August. He also asked for an inter-agency investigation to be established by the Department of Justice and suggested there is a lack of supports for affected parties in this situation.
A spokesperson for the Department confirmed that it has received the correspondence in question but said “it would not be appropriate for the Minister to comment on an ongoing Garda investigation.”
Dublin City Councillor Christy Burke has temporarily taken up the role as chairman of the board of ICHH, but is expected to step down from the role in the coming weeks.
A spokesperson for the Charities Regulator said it is still engaging with ICHH on the issues that have emerged.