Anthony Flynn “left an imprint on this world that will never be erased”, we learned during his funeral.
The 34-year-old Dublin city councilor and founder of the Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) charity was found dead in tragic circumstances at his East Wall home last week.
A private funeral attended by family and close friends was held Tuesday at Notre-Dame de Lourdes Church on Sean McDermott Street, with crowds gathered to watch the ceremony outside.
Father Michael Casey said at the funeral that those who befriended Mr. Flynn described him as “an icon for the homeless community”.
“Indeed, those who did not know him personally were touched by his kindness, his generosity, his hard work and his commitment to making our society more just and benevolent,” he added.
Longtime friend and colleague, Councilor Christy Burke has revealed that he and singer Frances Black arrived at Mr Flynn’s mother, Yvonne, on Dorset Street on Sunday morning to pay their respects.
“She sang a beautiful song that would have made the stones cry.
“For this Frances, go raibh mile maith agat.”
Mr. Burke said that through the founding of the ICHH, Mr. Flynn had “left a mark on this world that will never be erased”.
“With the continued support of his family and friends, his legacy will live on,” he added.
He also spoke about Mr. Flynn’s dedication to the homeless community.
“I was with Anthony Flynn one night when he took off his jacket and put it around a woman who was dying in the cold in Temple Bar,” he said.
“I was with him another night when he took off his shoes and gave them to a guy who was lying in a cardboard box.
“I gave him two pairs of socks to put on because he wanted to continue the rest of the walk.
Hundreds of residents lined the streets to pay their respects on Tuesday.
Doves and balloons were released and those gathered cheered as his remains left the church.
His coffin was taken in a horse-drawn carriage, draped in tricolor flags bearing the picture of Mr. Flynn.
Participants included Dublin Mayor Alison Gilliland, Dublin City Council Deputy Director General Brendan Kenny and Brother Kevin Crowley of the Capucin Day Center.
At the time of his death, Mr. Flynn had been suspended from ICHH and was under investigation by the Garda for sexual offenses.
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, his sisters Anita, Lisa and Andrea and his nieces and nephews Callum, Ariana, Dawson, Harper, Tristan and Ralph.
In a statement after his death, ICHH said it was “heartbroken” by the news and pledged to continue its work.
He added: “This tragic loss is a source of profound shock to all of us at ICHH.
“We wish to express our sadness and our deepest condolences to his family and friends for his sad passing.
“Anthony was a person who cared passionately 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 this conviction into action.
“Anthony’s death is a tragedy and we are all united in expressing our condolences to Anthony’s family, friends and colleagues.
“The ICHH is committed to continuing the necessary work started by Anthony.