‘Sense of fear’ prompts staff to quit after threats against ICHH board members
A series of resignations from Dublin’s Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) charity have raised questions about its future following the death of its co-founder and allegations of threats against some board members.
David Hall stepped down as chairman of the charity’s board last Thursday citing recent threats against his personal safety.
The Sunday Independent understands this has been followed by the resignation of at least one other senior figure at the charity with others said to be considering their roles this weekend.
Clare O’Connor, who is a senior ICHH employee, has informed colleagues she will be leaving the charity.
Ms O’Connor is staying on to help with a handover of her role and to support volunteers and colleagues until a suitable replacement has been found for her position, according to sources.
They said she told colleagues of her decision on Thursday. Office staff were informed of the decision last Friday.
One source said Ms O’Connor will also remain in situ while an investigation into allegations surrounding the late co-founder Anthony Flynn is carried out.
Mr Flynn, an Independent Dublin city councillor, was also the chief executive of the charity.
He was being investigated by gardaí for alleged sexual assaults against two young men, one of whom is understood to have been a client of the company.
Mr Flynn died in tragic circumstances days after the news of the Garda investigation at the charity emerged earlier this month. He was not publicly identified as the subject of the investigation.
Mr Hall was leading the board in its response to allegations. He resigned as chairman explaining his personal safety had been threatened in recent days.
Sources said this has led to heightened anxiety at the charity.
One source said these threats have created a sense of fear that forced others to consider their futures with ICHH
Ms O’Connor declined to comment when contacted yesterday.
She joined the charity more than seven years ago, initially volunteering and later taking up the role of finance and policy manager.
She became a director in 2017 and played a key role in developing procedures and governance structures at the charity because of her background as an experienced finance and governance professional.
A source questioned if the charity could cope with losing a number of key figureheads in such a short period.
“It is a worry,” they said.
“The threats to David [Hall] was too much for people and it is totally unfair.
"People are afraid for their safety and that isn’t right. Everyone gets involved in something like this for the right reasons.”
In his message to staff last Friday Mr Hall said he had been advised to step down as chairman by gardaí because of concerns for his personal safety.
Separately it is understood a third person contacted ICHH in recent days with allegations of inappropriate conduct against Mr Flynn.
The charity has provided a statement to gardaí about the new allegations in recent days and a person is expected to meet An Garda Síochána in the coming days.
Gardaí investigating the allegations by two men against Anthony Flynn are expected to prepare a file on the case for their superintendent.
The superintendent will decide whether the file should be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who would then likely make a direction of no prosecution.
In his message to staff Mr Hall said: “Anthony’s tragic death has regrettably given rise to an unwarranted social media blame campaign.
"I know this has given rise to upset, particularly as it has also resulted in
personal safety threats to me and to others.
“Sadly, I was advised by gardaí that due to threats to my own personal safety, it is not safe for me at this time to attend the office.
"I’ve been unable to attend the office since Anthony’s passing.
“As a result, we are faced with a situation where proper governance or support is impacted.
“I can no longer fulfil my role as chair and trustee.”