Minister Simon Coveney opening the new hostel for Defence Force veterans in Cobh.

Hostel opened in East Cork for homeless veterans

A new hostel has been opened in Cork for homeless Defence Forces veterans.

The new development will provide a safe, supportive, and secure environment for Defence Forces veterans who are experiencing difficulties in their transition back into civilian life. Brú na Farraige on 8 Harbour Row in Cobh is the latest hostel to be opened by the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel, also known as Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE).

The new development of five bedrooms was launched by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Simon Coveney this week and will be used by homeless veterans of the Irish Defence Forces.

A similar facility in Cork city called Brú Uí Choillean is being planned in partnership with Cork City Council, leading to the availability of sixty single bedrooms for homeless veterans countrywide.

ONE is a registered Irish charity for veterans of the Defence Forces. The charity offers veterans housing and support, with the ultimate goal of accessing permanent accommodation, improving mental health and preventing future homelessness.

ONE has facilities nationwide as well as 15 veteran support centres and to date over 1,000 veterans have benefitted from ONE's three homeless hostels.

With the addition of the new home in Cobh, ONE will provide just under 20,000 beds to veterans of the Defence Forces annually, with 90 per cent of those helped moving on to permanent housing. The organisation has worked closely with the Office of Public Works to secure the use of the former social welfare office in Cobh and this new development will provide a safe and secure five en-suite bedroom hostel alongside a veteran support centre.

Ollie O’Connor, CEO of ONE said: “Cobh has a strong heritage of military service, so we are delighted to announce the opening 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. “90 per cent 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.”