Tuesday, August 24, 2021

By James Ward, PA

Anthony Flynn “made a mark on this world that will never be erased”, his funeral has heard.

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 week.

A private funeral attended by family and close friends was held on Tuesday, at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, on Sean McDermott Street, with crowds gathering to watch the ceremony outside.

Anthony Flynn funeral
Crowds outside church watching the ceremony on screen of Dublin councillor and Inner City Helping Homeless co-founder Anthony Flynn at The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Dublin (Caroline Quinn/PA)

Father Michael Casey told the funeral that those who had befriended Mr Flynn had described him as “an icon for the homeless community”.

“Indeed those who didn’t know him personally were touched by his kindness, his generosity, his hard work and his commitment to make our society more just and caring,” he added.

Long time friend and colleague, Councillor Christy Burke revealed that he and singer Frances Black had arrived at Mr Flynn’s mother Yvonne’s house on Dorset Street on Sunday morning to pay her respects.

“She sang a beautiful song that would have made stones show tears.

“For that Frances, go raibh mile maith agat (thank you).”

Anthony Flynn funeral
Brother Kevin Crowley outside church after the funeral mass of Dublin councillor and Inner City Helping Homeless co-founder Anthony Flynn at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Dublin (Caroline Quinn/PA)

Mr Burke said that through the founding of the ICHH, Mr Flynn had “made a mark on this world that will be never be erased”.

“With the continued support of family and friends, his legacy will live on,” he added.

He also spoke of Mr Flynn’s dedication to the homeless community.

“I was with Anthony Flynn one night when he took his jacket off, and put it around a woman who was perishing in the cold in Temple Bar,” he said.

“I was with him another night, when he took his shoes off and gave them to a bloke who was lying in a cardboard box.

“I gave him two pairs of socks to put on because he wanted to continue with the remainder of the walk.

“That was Anthony Flynn.

“He never looked down on anybody only to help them up.”

Anthony Flynn funeral
The coffin of Dublin councillor and Inner City Helping Homeless co-founder Anthony Flynn being carried by horse-drawn hearse from church after his funeral mass (Caroline Quinn/PA)

Hundreds of locals lined the streets to pay their respects on Tuesday.

Doves and balloons were released and those gathered applauded as his remains left the church.

His coffin was brought away in a horse-drawn carriage, draped in tricolours bearing Mr Flynn’s picture.

Among those who attended were Dublin Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland, deputy chief executive of Dublin City Council Brendan Kenny and Brother Kevin Crowley of the Capuchin Day Centre.

At the time of his death, Mr Flynn had been suspended from the ICHH, and was the subject of a Garda investigation into sexual offences.

He had not been arrested.

He was found dead at his home in East Wall on Wednesday August 18.

He is survived by his mother Yvonne, sisters Anita, Lisa and Andrea and nieces and nephews Callum, Ariana, Dawson, Harper, Tristan and Ralph.

Inner City Helping Homeless hold protest
Councillor Anthony Flynn, chief executive of Inner City Helping Homeless (Brian Lawless/PA)

In a statement following his death, the ICHH said it was “broken hearted” by the news and vowed to continue his work.

It added: “This tragic loss is a source of deep shock to all of us at ICHH.

“We wish to express our sadness and deepest condolences to his family and friends at his sad passing.

“Anthony was a person who passionately cared about the plight of the homeless and fought to give them a voice and a home.

“As one of the founders of ICHH, he turned that belief into action.

“Anthony’s death is a tragedy and we are all joined in expressing our condolences to Anthony’s family, friends and colleagues.

“ICHH is committed to continuing the necessary work begun by Anthony.”

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