Housing report

Late charity leader allegedly assaulted men he secured accommodation for, report says

The former chief executive of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) allegedly sexually assaulted men for whom he secured accommodation through the homeless charity, according to an internal report.

Anthony Flynn, who died in tragic circumstances last month, was being investigated by the gardaí for two alleged sexual assaults. In recent weeks, others have claimed they were also sexually assaulted.

David Hall, former chairman of the charity’s board, has prepared a 12-page report on the ICHH’s handling of the controversy. The report, seen by The Irish Times, was sent to the charity on Thursday evening.

Two of the men allegedly sexually assaulted by Mr Flynn had previously been “hosted by the CEO” in temporary rental accommodation provided by the charity, the report said.

Mr Flynn was one of the founders of the charity, which ran outreach programs for homeless people in Dublin’s north city centre. He was also an independent councilor on Dublin City Council.

“Serious Sexual Assault”

The report described the first two allegations investigated by the gardaí of “aggravated sexual assault” in May this year, one of which involved an “extremely vulnerable” man in his twenties. It was alleged the man was sexually assaulted after being brought to Mr Flynn’s home at night in a taxi.

The report says the man presented to a hospital emergency department the next day and was transferred to a sexual assault unit.

Mr Hall said a review of the charity’s records confirmed the individual was a client of ICHH, who had previously been housed “at the request of the CEO” in a rental apartment.

The second sexual assault allegation related to an incident 13 days later involving another man, who was brought to the former chief executive’s home by taxi.

The report says that after the allegations were reported to the gardaí, Mr Flynn’s home was raided and a number of his electronic devices were seized. Gardaí believe the ICHH taxi account was used to bring one of the men to Mr Flynn’s home, it adds.

A third alleged victim reported to the charity on August 26 that he had been sexually assaulted by Mr Flynn, although no date for the alleged attack is given.

The man, who was homeless, had been “hosted by the CEO in accommodation provided by ICHH”, the report said.

“While he was hosted by ICHH, the CEO sent text messages asking this person for sex. It was alleged that the CEO sexually assaulted this person,” the report said. It was also alleged that Mr Flynn “transferred a specific amount of money to this person to buy cocaine”, he said.

A fourth alleged victim of sexual assault came forward in early September. Mr Hall said the man, who had lost his job earlier in the year and faced deportation, “turned to the CEO of ICHH for help”.

The man alleged he was later sexually assaulted by Mr Flynn after being taken home by taxi. The report noted that the individual’s address matched one of the addresses listed in a trip on the charity’s taxi account.

Investigation

The report says Mr Flynn did not reveal he was being investigated for alleged sexual assault by the charity’s board.

In early August, the charity received an email from an individual, indicating that Gardaí were investigating a staff member for alleged sexual assault. The report said Mr Flynn ‘denied any knowledge of any such investigation of any ICHH staff member’.

Following the email, Mr Hall contacted Gardaí, who informed him of the ongoing investigation into Mr Flynn, in which case he was suspended from the charity. A week later, Mr Flynn was found dead at his home.

Mr Hall said that after Mr Flynn died, Gardaí informed him that a number of threats had been made against him and advised him to stay away from the charity’s office and downtown north. He later resigned from the charity’s board of directors.

Members of the charity, including its board, are due to discuss Mr Hall’s report in the coming days. Attorney Remy Farrell SC has also been appointed to lead a review of the controversy.