Wed, 22 Sep, 2021 – 07:19
The future of Inner City Helping Homeless has been thrown into doubt following attempts to install to the charity’s board three people who were personally very close to the deceased former chief executive of the charity, Anthony Flynn.
Social Democrat TD Gary Gannon has turned down the offer to act as chair for the charity. Prominent social policy analyst and activist Clare O’Connor has also said she is now unwilling to serve on the board.
Both had been approached to serve in the wake of the controversy that saw Mr Flynn accused of sexual assault of two young men and his subsequent death by suicide.
A third candidate who was approached to serve is also believed to have now stepped away.
Their change of minds followed attempts to install three individuals who were close to Mr Flynn, none of whom have any specialist skills that might be required to serve on the charity’s board
Mr Gannon said he was stepping away due to other commitments. “Having reflected on it over the time I was given to do so, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just can’t give the commitment needed at the moment,” he told the Irish Examiner.
When contacted, Clare O’Connor confirmed she was stepping away, but declined to comment further.
However, their departure comes as a time over growing unease in the charity at the attempts to install the three other individuals on the board.
‘Obvious conflict of interest’
“There is an obvious conflict of interest there,” one source said. “There is a report about what was going on with Anthony that’s due before the board and those people will obviously have a personal interest in it.”
Anthony Flynn was suspended on August 7 when the board became aware of the allegations which dated from last May. On August 18, Mr Flynn, who was also a Dublin city councillor, died by suicide. Since his death, two further allegations have surfaced.
The outgoing board, including former chairman David Hall, who resigned over threats to his personal safety, commissioned senior counsel Remy Farrell to investigate how the allegations against Mr Flynn were handled. Mr Farrell is due to report to the board with his findings.
Separately, David Hall is to submit his own report to the board around all the issues that arose from the allegations. His report was due to be presented on Monday night at an EGM to elect the new board members, but the report was delayed and that meeting has now been put back to next Monday. Anthony Flynn founded ICHH in 2013 and some of those who were close to him are understood to be unhappy with how the allegations against him and his suspension were handled. Dublin City councillor Christy Burke, who is currently serving as interim chair, said he would do so as long as was necessary, but he was hoping a new chair would be appointed as soon as possible.