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Garda Commissioner says vetting for homelessness staff to be reviewed

The Garda Commissioner has said that there will be a review of garda vetting procedures for the homelessness sector.

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THE GARDA COMMISSIONER has said there will be a review of garda vetting procedures for the homelessness sector.

His comments come as investigations continue into allegations of sexual assault against Anthony Flynn, the late homelessness campaigner.

The 34-year-old Dublin councillor and founder of the charity Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) was found dead in tragic circumstances at his home in East Wall last month.

Attending the Scott medal ceremony in Dublin today, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “There are strict criteria as to who can be vetted and who aren’t vetted then.

“In light of this incident, we’ll obviously have to review that because one can regard that the homeless are particularly vulnerable and that then may be an area that needs resolution.”

“Certainly, we’re looking into that,” he told reporters.

Justice Minister Heather Humphries also attended the ceremony.

She said: “My Department of Justice is carrying out a complete review of the vetting legislation and depending on what this finds, we’re happy to make changes if necessary and change the legislation.”

Report

An internal report for the Inner City Helping Homeless charity, released in the last 24 hours, detailed four serious allegations made against Flynn.

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The report, seen by The Journal, was prepared by former chairman of the charity David Hall, who wrote that he was informed on 7 August of two sexual assault complaints made against Flynn.

Flynn had previously denied knowledge of any allegations of any nature being investigated by gardaí against any ICHH member of staff. 

Both complaints made to gardaí “involved alleged serious sexual assault”. 

One involved a 21-year-old man who was classified by gardaí as “extremely vulnerable” and allegedly occurred in May this year. The man said he was brought by taxi at 2.30am to Flynn’s home where he stayed the night.

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