There is a clear need to provide greater support to members and veterans of the Irish Defence Forces according to Green Party candidate in Cork East, Cllr. Liam Quaide.
Speaking after canvassing in Cobh, Cllr. Quaide said we’re letting our veterans down: “I think our government has badly let down our defence forces, and the veterans who have served our country valiantly.
“Cobh has a high population of current & former members of the defence forces, navy and army in particular, who take part in important peacekeeping missions around the world and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, for example,” “They often come home to little or no support for dealing with mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress, brought on by their service, or with housing. It’s simply not good enough.”
Earlier this month the support organisation Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE) announced that it would be opening a veteran support centre in 8 Harbour Row in Cobh following a refurbishment of the building. The group also plans to provide limited accommodation on-site for homeless ex-servicemen and women. According to Cllr Quaide, “Groups like ONE should be commended for their work, but the state should be providing these essential supports.
“There is also still the issue of pay for current members of the defence forces.” Though a pay deal was settled in October, we’re still seeing servicemen & women barely being able to afford basic costs of living, or being forced to leave the service altogether.
Our defense forces should be valued and they deserve better.”