It was in early in 2020, just before the start of the pandemic, that he lost his job. Before long, his savings ran out. And he was soon in arrears.

His overriding fear was that he would become homeless, he told Prime Time.

He contacted the late Anthony Flynn, the CEO of Dublin-based charity Inner City Helping Homeless and an Independent Dublin City Councillor.

"I was in a bad state after losing my job, I was on anti-depressants, I was vulnerable. I wasn't myself," the man, who requested anonymity to detail serious allegations of sexual abuse against Mr Flynn, told Prime Time.

"I thought he was a saviour. I thought he was a person who was going to help me out."

In March this year, he sent Mr Flynn a message on social media, asking to meet the former CEO.

Mr Flynn told him he would send a taxi to his house after work to pick him up and bring him to his own home in Dublin 3.

When he arrived, he was offered a drink. He remembers little or nothing of what happened shortly after that.

"I just don't know what happened after the drink. I passed out," he said.

He alleges that he woke later that night to find Mr Flynn sexually assaulting him.

Anthony Flynn was well known for his campaigning work on behalf of the homeless

The following day and night, he stayed in Mr Flynn’s home against his will, he alleges.

"In the end, I just became submissive and just did whatever he wanted me to do," he said.

On the second night, there was another man who he recognised – another vulnerable person – in the house.

This second man, too, was sexually assaulted by Mr Flynn, according to the man who spoke to Prime Time.

The man said that he was so "out of it" from what he believed were drugs in the drinks he had been given that he did not have the will to leave or resist the assaults.

He said he finally made an escape on the third night, leaving Mr Flynn’s home in the early hours of the morning wearing nothing but boxer shorts.

Two further encounters with Mr Flynn occurred in the months after the original assaults. On the second occasion, he alleges that Mr Flynn once again brought him by taxi to his home and raped him. On the third occasion, he said Mr Flynn took his phone from him.

At the time, he did not understand the significance of this – but he sees it differently now. The final encounter happened after Mr Flynn was being investigated for two other assaults that had been reported to Gardaí.

He said it was desperation and fear that drove him back to Mr Flynn after the first sexual assaults.

"I was desperate and I thought he was going to help me," he said.

Many people across the city refuse to believe the allegations against Anthony Flynn

At one stage, Mr Flynn spoke about how he could offer him a job. But he was also threatening, and reminded him of his powerful connections.

"I remember he was scrolling through his phone telling me the names of all the gardaí he knew," he said.

From this, he came to believe that, if he went to gardaí, he would not be believed – so he did not report it at the time.

However, the alleged assaults had a profound effect on him.

"Since then, I ended up in a very bad situation myself. I had a mental breakdown and I remember I stayed in my house for nearly three months. I just stayed in the dark, switched off the lights," he said.

He told Prime Time that he is still struggling with his mental health. On two occasions, he attempted to take his own life.

The man is one of four survivors who featured in a document sent to members of Inner City Helping Homeless last week.

Several aspects of his account have been independently verified by Prime Time reporting.

The document, written by David Hall, the former chairman of the charity, outlines a series of allegations of sexual abuse that were being investigated by Gardaí earlier this year.

Such is the great esteem in which Mr Flynn was held across the city for his work with the homeless that many people across the city refuse to believe the allegations against him.

This has led to hostility and negative commentary about his alleged survivors. One of the two men who alleged serious sexual assaults against Mr Flynn last May was rehoused.

Anthony Flynn was suspended from the charity following the allegations

The man who spoke to Prime Time said that he too hopes to be rehoused.

"My biggest fear is that people would know it is me," he said.

"Even when I went to do the statement that time with the guards, it took me a lot of courage to go there. I remember when I walked out of Store Street Garda Station, I looked around me – to see if anyone had seen me going in there."

Despite this fear, he said he felt compelled to speak out to help others – and also to get help for himself.

"My motive is hoping other victims out there get courage," he said.

He also hopes to create awareness about what happened.

"The biggest thing for myself is getting the support I need as well, because my mental health is not that great."

He is currently getting the assistance of the Rape Crisis Centre.

He also understands why so many may find it difficult to believe that Mr Flynn did these things to him.

"There is no understanding because they knew Anthony in a different way. I don’t blame them because that is not what they knew," he said.

"Anthony portrayed himself as a saviour or a fighter for the deprived in this society. But I saw the dark side."


If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, visit rte.ie/helplines.