Today at midday, the Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE) Annual Fuchsia Appeal was launched by Óglaigh na hÉireann Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, at the National Memorial in Merrion Square West. The launch was also attended by Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe TD. The Appeal helps to fund ONE hostels for homeless veterans, to put in place preventative measures to avert homelessness, and to provide other support services for veterans of the Defence Forces.
The Fuchsia Appeal, which will take place during the month of July, builds on the foundation of the Sleeping FlagsAwareness Campaign in February of this year which raised awareness by challenging protocols around the treatment and representation of the Irish flag. It represented both the homeless veterans who died on Dublin’s streets, which was the catalyst for ONE setting up its first homeless hostel, and the reality facing current and future veterans if the charity is unable to keep its doors open.
To date, ONE has helped hundreds of homeless male and female Defence Forces veterans who have served abroad in conflict zones including The Congo, Lebanon, Syria and the Mediterranean, or at home during The Troubles. Many come to ONE with depression, disabilities, PTSD, or having suffered family breakdowns, with little support to call on. In addition to its 3 hostels for homeless veterans, ONE has 35 Branches across the country and is developing a nationwide network of 14 Veteran Support Centres.
Photo: (Courtesy Defence Forces Press Office)