MILITARY veterans looking for advice and temporary accommodation in Cork will be supported through a new service due to open in Cobh by the end of the year.
Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE) provides support, comradeship, advocacy and remembrance for Irish Veterans and is to take over ownership of 8 Harbour Row, Cobh where there are plans to refurbish the building.
It is to be turned into a veterans support centre and five-bed accommodation for homeless ex-servicemen and women.
It is understood that the building has been derelict for several years and was previously a social welfare local office.
Ollie O'Connor, Director of ONE said the plans to open the first hostel in Munster has been a long time coming for the charity organisation.
"We have been working with the OPW over the course of the last year to procure a long term lease on the building.
"It's a great location as it’s located in close proximity to the Naval Base in Haulbowline.
"The support centre will be the first of its kind in Cork and the only hostel in Munster. We will provide advice and direction to veterans who may be struggling," he told The Echo.
Funding for the new project has been granted through a number of different outlets, including the Dormant Accounts Fund and the Defence Forces Benevolent Fund but Ollie notes that fundraising activities are vital if the centre is to open by the end of 2020.
"The design plans for the refurbishment have been completed.
"They were drawn up by Edmund Mansworth.
"There is a lot of work that needs to be completed, but we hope to open the new centre and hostel by the end of the year if we can," he said.
The first Cork centre is part of ambitious plans which ONE hopes to accomplish in 2020.
"We currently have 11 support centres in the country but hope to have 15 by the end of the year.
"We’d also love to open a support centre in Cork city after we open the one in Cobh to try and help as many people as we can," Ollie said.