CORONER’S REPORT |
Homeless campaigner Anthony Flynn had traces of cocaine and alcohol in system at time of death
The Dublin city councillor had sought medical help for distress amid allegations of sex assault
Today at 21:34
The late Dublin City Councillor and homelessness campaigner Anthony Flynn had sought medical help for distress, and had alcohol and had traces of cocaine in his system when he took his own life, amid allegations of sexual assault last year.
Cllr Flynn (34) died on August 18, 2021 shortly after he was suspended from the Inner City Helping Homeless charity. Allegations he had sexually assaulted two men had been made and were under criminal investigation.
The coroner’s report following a recent inquest into Mr Flynn’s death includes depositions by friends who had been out with him the night before he was found dead at his East Wall home.
Vincent Lynch said he had met Mr Flynn and another friend, and they went to the Wellington House Pub on Dorset Street.
Mr Lynch said that when other members of their company would leave the table, Mr Flynn and him would discuss messages he was getting by emails and texts “accusing him of all sorts of things”. Mr Lynch said Mr Flynn was “very frank about it and was very upset about it”, but was otherwise his normal self.
He said that when it came time to go home in the early hours of August 18, he offered to walk Mr Flynn home because of what was going on with the messages he was receiving, but Mr Flynn had said “I don’t need a babysitter”.
Patrick Glynn, who works in the pub, said that nothing seemed unusual and he joined Mr Flynn and Mr Lynch for a few pints after the pub had closed.
“At about 3am Anto said abruptly ‘I’ve to go. I’ve a busy morning’ and went outside and got into a taxi,” he added.
A friend named Michael Weafer said he had met Mr Flynn earlier in the evening and he was in good spirits, and shook hands with him when he was leaving to go back to work, adding that the gesture wasn’t like something Mr Flynn would usually do. Ordinarily he would just say “see you later pal”.
He said Mr Flynn texted him later in the night asking him to go by his home and check that foxes hadn’t ripped open his bins. He checked them and they were fine.
The next morning he texted Mr Flynn to see if he was back at home, but got no answer. There was no reply when he rang him also.
Later that day he got a phone call from another friend who said she could not reach Mr Flynn by phone, so he went to the house in East Wall and went into it because it was unlocked, which was not unusual.
Mr Weafer said he discovered Mr Flynn’s body on the stairs and contacted the emergency services.
Mr Flynn’s body was removed to Dublin City Mortuary and identified by his mother Yvonne.
Dr Ian MagFhearraigh from the Whitworth Medical Centre in Dublin 9 gave a deposition saying Mr Flynn attended the practice sporadically, but on August 13 he had attended in acute distress and reported he had recently been suspended from his role in the charity he had founded.
“He was feeling low and distressed, but denied any thoughts of self-harm or suicide. He was given a prescription for benzodiazepine sedatives, as illness certificate for work, and a follow up appointment was arranged for two weeks,” he said.
A post mortem on August 20 found traces of cocaine and coacaethyline in Mr Flynn’s blood and urine, as well as alcohol and the medication he had been prescribed. Coacaethyline is a chemical formed when alcohol and cocaine are combined in a person’s system.
A verdict of suicide was recorded by Coroner Dr Clare Keane.
The garda investigation into Mr Flynn was launched in May last year when a 21-year-old man contacted gardaí at Store Street, alleging a serious sexual assault.
The man, who was treated at the Rotunda sexual assault unit, has claimed he travelled to Mr Flynn’s house in a taxi paid for by the charity and was allegedly drugged and raped.
A second man contacted gardaí almost two weeks later, also alleging he had been raped at Mr Flynn’s home.
At least one other spoke to gardaí but declined to make a formal statement of complaint. Gardaí have now closed the book on the investigation into allegations.
The final garda report was based on a narrative account of the facts. It is understood to have referenced evidence taken from mobile phones, computers and forensic evidence taken following searches of Mr Flynn’s home in north Dublin.
If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article, contact the Samaritans on 116 123; Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or text HELLO to 50808, a free 24/7 text support service for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis.