Christy Burke steps down as Inner City Helping Homeless chair

ireland
Christy Burke Steps Down As Inner City Helping Homeless Chair Christy Burke Steps Down As Inner City Helping Homeless Chair
Cllr Christy Burke said his time as chair of Inner City Helping Homeless had been a temporary measure. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins.
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Sarah Slater

Uncertainty surrounds the future of the controversy-hit Inner City Helping Homeless charity after its interim chair stood down on Sunday night.

Former lord mayor of Dublin and Independent councillor Christy Burke was appointed as interim chairman almost six weeks ago after David Hall stepped down from the position after he received alleged death threats.

The alleged threats were made days after the death by suicide of the charity’s chief executive officer, co-founder and Independent councillor Anthony Flynn.

Cllr Flynn died by suicide on August 18th. He was found dead in his home as Gardaí investigated alleged sexual misconduct involving several individuals.

The 34-year-old was suspended from his post five days prior to his death. He was never arrested and voluntarily made a statement to gardaí.

Making his announcement on Sunday, Cllr Burke said: “My interim position as chair has come to an end. As was stated when I took over the role, it was only to be for a short period of time.”

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Cllr Burke would not be drawn on the latest resignation from the board over the weekend, leaving just him and one other as appointees from the original 15 members.

He also made it clear that he would not be commenting on the circumstances surrounding Cllr Flynn’s death, allegations of misconduct which are still being investigated by gardaí, or the stepping down of Mr Hall from his chairman role.

Options

As only one board member remains from the original 15, the charity now faces two options according to sources. The appointment of a liquidator which could result in the winding up of the charity or else an inspector being legally charged by the Charities Regulator to examine the organisation.

A new board had been due to meet last Monday following the proposed appointment of Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon as its new chairman along with Clare O’Connor, a previous board member, and Gavin Elliot, a barrister, as two trustees.

An Emergency General Meeting (EGM) scheduled for last Tuesday was scheduled to take place but was postponed due to Mr Gannon, Ms O’Connor and Mr Elliot withdrawing from the nominations.

An independent internal report detailing the time frame of the sexual misconduct allegations and his related conduct against the late chief executive initiated by Mr Hall had been due to be presented to the board on Monday night but was subsequently circulated to the members.

It details a factual chronology of the events that culminated in Mr Flynn’s death along with related emails and texts dated from July 30th.

Four allegations of sexual misconduct by homeless and vulnerable men have now been made against Mr Flynn. Due to his death, the garda probe has now ceased but a file will be presented to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris confirmed.

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The Commissioner also said formal garda vetting needs to be established for charities dealing with the homeless and vulnerable people.

Meanwhile, a woman is expected to be co-opted onto Dublin City Council next month to fill Mr Flynn's seat.

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