Chairman of Inner City Helping Homeless steps down

David Hall cites threats to personal safety after ‘difficult time’ for charity

David Hall: ‘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.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

David Hall: ‘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.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

David Hall has stepped down as chairman of the board of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) charity, citing recent threats to his personal safety.

In an email to volunteers, Mr Hall said recent weeks had been a “difficult time” for the north Dublin inner city-based charity.

Founder and chief executive of the charity, Independent Dublin city councillor Anthony Flynn died in tragic circumstances last week.

It had emerged the week before that Mr Flynn had been suspended from ICHH and that gardaí were investigating allegations against an employee of the charity.

Mr Hall had issued a statement to the media confirming that an employee had been suspended, following “serious matters” that came “to the attention of the board”.

Mr Hall, who also runs private ambulance company Lifeline Ambulance Service and iCare housing body, told ICHH volunteers the death of Mr Flynn was a “tragedy”.

In a message on Friday, seen by The Irish Times, he said the charity’s initial statement noting an employee had been suspended over serious matters “was in response to media enquiries”.

The days after Mr Flynn’s death had seen an “unwarranted social media blame campaign”, which had led to “personal safety threats against me and others”, Mr Hall said.

“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,” he said.

The email to volunteers said he had discussed the matter at a board meeting on Thursday night.

“I informed the board that I have come to the conclusion that circumstances are now such that I can no longer fulfil my role as chair and trustee,” he said.

He said he had taken the decision to step down from the voluntary role on the board with a “heavy heart”.

Mr Hall said he had suspended a number of services in response to the recent controversy, which would be a matter for the board to review. “Arrangements are in place to ensure that the roles I have vacated will be filled,” he said.

“I have tried everything to ensure everyone knew the circumstances which we faced and the decisions that were made,” he said.

The coming weeks would “likely continue to be very difficult” for those involved with the charity, he said, adding that counselling resources had been made available for staff and volunteers.

Barrister Remy Farrell SC had been appointed to conduct a review and evaluate the issues related to the recent serious matters at the charity.

The ICHH group was founded in 2013 and focuses on outreach programmes working with homeless people in Dublin’s inner city.