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'I was vulnerable': Man who alleges he was assaulted by Anthony Flynn speaks out

An internal report for ICHH detailed four serious allegations made against the charity’s founder, Anthony Flynn.

Anthony Flynn
Anthony Flynn

A MAN WHO alleges he was sexually assaulted by the late Inner City Helping Homeless founder Anthony Flynn has spoken out.

Investigations are continuing into allegations of sexual assault against Anthony Flynn, the late founder of ICHH. The 34-year-old Dublin councillor was found dead in tragic circumstances at his home in East Wall in August.

An internal report for ICHH, released last week, detailed four serious allegations made against Flynn.

RTÉ’s Prime Time has spoken to one of the people who have made allegations against Flynn.

The man, who has remained anonymous, told Prime Time he had approached ICHH because he was in fear of becoming homeless after losing his job before the Covid-19 pandemic and that he faced eviction. 

“I was in a bad way when I met Anthony. I was in a bad state after losing my job, I was on antidepressants, I was vulnerable, I wasn’t myself at the time when I contacted him,” the man said.

The man alleged he was sexually assaulted by Flynn at his home after a taxi was sent to collect him.

“I went straight to his house and then he offered me a drink. And then I just don’t know what happened after the drink. I woke up in the middle of the night, as well, and he came over and he did what he did while I was there, still when I was alert, it just happened all night. He sexually molested me,” the man said. 

RTÉ’s Prime Time reported that the man said he returned to Flynn’s home on two further occasions, once when he was allegedly sexually assaulted again. 

“Since then, I’ve ended up in a bad situation myself, my mental health, I just had a mental breakdown,” he said. 

“I remember, I stayed in my house for nearly three months and I never came out,” he said. 

Weeks after Flynn’s death, the man reported his allegations to gardaí. 

He said he is still fearful.

“It’s a fear of people knowing that it’s me. That was the biggest fear until now. Even when I went to do the statement that time with the guards, it took me a lot of courage, a lot of courage to go there,” he said. 

The man said he’s speaking out to help others and himself. 

“I’m hoping to help other victims out there and get the courage, and also it’s about creating awareness about what happened,” he said.

“The biggest thing for myself was getting the support from it all as well because my mental health is not that great, it crashes on a daily basis,” he said. 

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Homeless authority

The Journal reported earlier today that Dublin’s homelessness authority is to seek greater regulation of organisations providing services for homeless people in the capital as soon as possible in the wake of the ICHH controversy.

Brendan Kenny, who has responsibility for the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) in his role, said that due to the high number of informal homeless organisations set up in recent years there is “currently no vetting, no controls, on many people who are actually interacting directly with homeless people”.

Kenny said he doesn’t want “over-regulation” to lead to certain groups disbanding but added: “At the moment there’s nothing and that’s not good enough.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, the DRHE said it is “strongly of the view that greater regulation, vetting, and scrutiny is required for organisations/charities that set themselves up as service providers for homeless persons, including the provision of on-street food services”.

The DRHE did not fund ICHH, which is a registered charity, but said it believed the charity should be wound down.

Kenny said the allegations made against Flynn highlight how important it is to ensure those working with homeless people are vetted and held to account.

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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