Organisation of National Ex-service Personnel Helping Homeless Ex-Service Men

By Seamus Whelehan

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One of the misapprehensions when it comes to ex-service men is that, they all receive a substantial pension and should not be in need of charity.
Uas. Domhnall MacCárthaigh PRO for the O.N.E. Cobh branch said “those who don’t serve the full career of 21 years, will not receive any form of pension until they are 65”
Many suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder which has led to marriage break ups, drug and alcohol addiction.
In 1990 the O.N.E. in response to tragic news that three of its former members died on the streets of Dublin, while sleeping rough set about, setting up a homeless shelter for ex-service men.
10 members including Barney Dowdall from the Cobh branch re-mortgaged their homes in order to secure a substantial bank loan.
Construction of ‘Bru na bhFiann’ (home of the brave) began in 1993 at the junction of North King Street and Queen Street in the Smithfield Market development in Dublin. Then President Mary Robinson officially opened the centre in September 1994.
Shortly afterwards homes were built in Letterkenny, Athlone and Limerick city.
Running costs for these homes are in excess of €600,000 annually.
This September O.N.E. members will sell Fuchsia pins to support those who have fallen on hard times.
The fuchsia serves as a symbol of home to those fighting over seas and a stark reminder to those separated from home and family.
Grown profusely here, in the Irish language fuchsia is called Deora De (Gods tears).
Tomorrow Friday (1 September) collections will take place in Cobh at Keating’s Londis, Garvey’s Super-Valu and Murphy’s Centra.

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