Following the decision of councillors at tonight’s monthly Council meeting of Dublin City Council to once again defer a vote to replace the late Councillor Anthony Flynn, the Workers’ Party has blasted DCC councillors for a lack of political courage on the issue and for continuing to deny the people of North Inner City representation. 

Commenting on the matter Workers’ Party Dublin Central representative, Claire O’Connor, said:

“We in The Workers’ Party have called throughout this process for a full and thorough investigation into charity Inner City Helping the Homeless (ICHH) and issues relating to allegations of abuse against its now deceased CEO. We welcome the fact that certain Independent DCC councillors who previously attempted to push through a nomination at the October Council – despite these very serious and credible allegations – have conceded a deferral of this vote to facilitate the completion of current investigations”

She continued: “I believe the current investigations must bring some clarity to the issue of who knew what when and what actions they took to protect vulnerable service users at charity ICHH. Furthermore, I reiterate the Workers’ Party call for Dublin City Councillors to petition for a Committee of Inspection to be established, to oversee the ongoing liquidation of ICHH and to ensure its assets are in the first instance safeguarded to assist the homeless in Dublin”

O’Connor continued: “However, deferring the vote to replace the late Cllr Flynn should not be used by councillors as a means of kicking the can down the road. The surrounding issues of the housing emergency, the failure of the State and Local Authorities to care for the homeless, the subsequent reliance of vulnerable individuals on charity and lack of support for victims and survivors of sexual assault – must all be addressed”

“A constituency like the North Inner City – which includes some of the most underprivileged and most vulnerable communities in the entire country – should not be denied representation on account of political cowardice by DCC councillors”

She concluded: “Many local politicians purport to speak up for the homeless. However, it is interesting to note that very few have addressed the issues surrounding ICHH and the role DCC has to play in this. We watch with interest how local councillors deal with this issue as it evolves over the months to come. Rest assured it will not go away – and the perspectives of those who have experienced abuse and trauma at the hands of the powerful will not not be erased”