A new hostel for homeless defence forces veterans is to be established in Cobh with another facility being considered for the city.
The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann), otherwise known as ONE, announced the new development on 8 Harbour Row, Cobh.
The organisation has worked closely with the Office of Public Works over the past year to secure a long-term lease on a former social welfare office in Cobh. The new development will provide a safe and secure five en-suite bedroom hostel alongside a veteran support centre.
A similar facility in Cork City with six bedrooms is being considered, leading to the availability of 60 single bedrooms for homeless veterans countrywide.
The launch comes as welcome news to the Cork community which is home to Collins Barracks and the Haulbowline Naval Base.
Speaking about the launch of the new hostel in Cork, The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel, chief executive officer Ollie O’Connor said: “Cobh has a strong heritage of military service, so we are delighted to announce the launch of the new Cobh development, the first veteran hostel in Munster.
“The new facility will directly enable ONE to provide Ireland’s homeless veterans with a safe, secure and supportive space, warm meals, camaraderie, and care, for as long as they need it.
“Ninety-five percent of the veterans helped by ONE escape the cycle of homelessness and move on to permanent housing and this is a key motivation behind the work we do.
“The work of ONE can be summarised in four words — support, comradeship, advocacy, and remembrance.”
ONE provides just under 18,000 bed nights in its hostels to veterans of the defence forces each year, with 95% of those helped moving on to permanent housing, and also has 15 veteran support centres nationwide.
ONE says its funding efforts have understandably been heavily impacted by Covid-19, but that donations to the ONE development fund can be made via its website.