A NEW centre for veterans of the army is being developed at Collins Barracks. The centre is set to be completed in the autumn, after being delayed because of Covid restrictions.
The project was started more than three years by the now-retired Brigadier General Patrick Flynn, who was then General Officer Commanding 1 Southern Brigade.
A spokesperson for Collins Barracks said: “The Officer Commanding Collins Barrack allocated a room just inside the main gate for the use of ONE [Organisation of National Ex-servicemen] as a place that veterans could drop in to enquire about a multitude of information which included pensions, welfare and access to citizens information, and welfare supports.”
Then steps were made by Brig Gen Flynn to seek a more permanent base for veteran members.
The spokesperson said: “Stakeholders were engaged, IUNVA [Irish United Nations Veterans Association] and ONE, and asked if they would support this project.
“Brigadier General Patrick Flynn liaised with the city council on the project to be delivered by converting a building in the Campfield into a more appropriate facility.
“He obtained their support, and that started the ball rolling.
“This project is soon to be delivered around August/September 2021, after delays encountered as a result of the Covid restrictions.
“This completion which will see the BPSSO’s [Brigade Personnel Support Service Officers] and the brigade social worker housed alongside our veterans in the adjoining building, and all the supports which are given to serving members will be available to veterans who wish to avail of them.”
Funds of €300,000 were provided last year in Government funding for the project, according to the latest Department of Defence and Defence Forces annual report, published last Monday.
The project was put out to tender in March 2020.
The tender document outlined: “The existing building is to be refurbished into a personnel support services [PSS] resource centre, which will accommodate a veteran support centre.
“It is proposed to reconfigure the layout of the building, upgrade the thermal performance of the building, and to replace the mechanical and electrical services.”
Located on the Old Youghal Rd in the city, the building was a decommissioned married quarters and has been vacant now for more than a decade.