For Oral Answer on : 27/01/2022
Question Number(s): 128 Question Reference(s): 3633/22
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Defence if he will report on the progress made by his Department in providing support for Defence Forces veterans in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department provides support to veterans through two recognised Veterans Associations. These Veterans Associations, which represent all former personnel, are Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE), the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel, and the Irish United Nations Veterans Association (IUNVA). ONE has branches in Cork City and Cobh while IUNVA has posts in Cork City and Fermoy.
ONE provides board and lodgings for 54 ex-service personnel in 4 residential homes in Dublin, Letterkenny, Athlone and Cobh, Co. Cork, while IUNVA accommodates 4 retired personnel in its home on The Curragh. In addition, ONE currently has 13 Veterans Support Centres (VSCs) nationwide, while IUNVA operates drop-in centres at 8 of its 22 posts around the country.
My Department engages on an ongoing basis with these veterans’ organisations and has entered into Service Level Agreements with them. An annual grant is paid to both ONE and IUNVA to assist in their overheads and, in line with the commitment in the current Programme for Government to “support the establishment of centres for members of the Defence Forces”, my Department continues to facilitate, where possible, the establishment of further ONE Veterans Support Centres and INUVA Posts around the country.
As a further means of assistance, my Department has secured total funding of €500,000 under the Dormant Accounts Fund, to assist ONE and IUNVA with specific special projects. On 3rd October 2021, I officially opened the new residential home, which can accommodate 5 retired members of the Defence Forces and a Veterans Support Centre at 8 Harbour Row, Cobh, Co. Cork. This building was refurbished with funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund. ONE has plans to establish another VSC and hostel to accommodate 6 retired veterans in Cork City. This will bring to 60 the number of retired veterans that ONE will be able to accommodate.
On 29th November 2021, I officially opened the new building housing the Defence Forces Personnel Support Service and ONE’s Veterans Support Centre at Campfield, Collins Barracks, Cork. This project was funded by my Department and replaced a temporary Veterans Support Centre in the Cork Barracks.