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Social Democrats TD has 'declined' offer to take up role as chair of ICHH board

The Dublin homeless charity has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks.

File image of Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon.
File image of Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon.
Image: Sasko Lazarov

SOCIAL DEMOCRATS TD Gary Gannon said he has turned down an offer of the position as the new chair of the board of Inner City Helping Homeless. 

The Dublin homeless charity has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks following allegations made against its founder and former chief executive Anthony Flynn.  

Gannon confirmed this evening that he was “approached to take over as Chair of the ICHH” and after considering the offer, he has “declined to take up the role”. 

Dublin councillor Christy Burke temporarily took up the role as chairman of the board in late August after David Hall resigned from the role. 

Clare O’Connor, the former director of the charity, further confirmed she has withdrawn her name for consideration of a position on the board.

The Irish Times has reported that a third individual, barrister Gavin Elliott, has also withdrawn his name for consideration on the board. 

The charity had scheduled a general meeting for yesterday evening, but this has been postponed for at least one week.

A report related to Flynn was due to be presented at this meeting. Details of the report were published in a number of newspapers at the weekend.

Dublin City Council had called on the charity to conclude and publish an independent review into “serious matters” that emerged last month.

In May, gardaí began investigating claims by two men that they were sexually assaulted or exploited by Flynn at his property. One of the men had sought assistance from the charity ahead of the alleged assault.

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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. 

Additional reporting by Cónal Thomas. 

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