COLLINS Barracks may soon have a support centre for retired soldiers after City Hall agreed to pursue funding from the Government.
The local authority will write to Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe to request €200,000 in funding to develop a combined veterans/personnel support centre in the Camp Field. The funding would be used to renovate two properties which were previously used as married quarters into a resource centre.
The centre could provide advice and assistance to serving and ex-military personnel in regard to housing and other matters.
Councillor Paudie Dineen (IND) said the centre could provide essential services to a large population of current and ex-soldiers and serving military.
“The commanding officer of Collins Barracks’ ambition is to develop a number of properties in the Camp Field where the old officer’s houses are and turn them into a resource centre for retired military personnel who find themselves destitute or homeless.
“It’s the army’s way of dealing with homelessness. A lot of people that come out of the army after 21 years can be institutionalised and are unable to live a normal life. They are regimented in the life that they live for many years.
“With the second largest number of veterans in the country, many of the Defence Forces veterans in the Cork region find themselves in difficult financial situations and a number have become homeless,” he added.
“The centre would provide essential support for both serving and retired personnel.”