Doctor Cathal Berry is not only a TD representing Kildare South in Dáil Éireann, he is also a veteran of the Irish Defence Forces. He served in the elite Army Ranger Wing before qualifying as a medical doctor and becoming the head of the Military Medical School in the Defence Forces Training Centre, The Curragh Camp. He deployed overseas five times, with NATO in Kosovo, the EU in Chad and the UN in the Middle East (Lebanon). Originally from Ballyduff, County Waterford, Cathal joined the Defence Forces at the age of eighteen.
Cathal has not forgotten his comrades in the Defence Forces and he paid a visit to Brú na bhFiann on the 26th July 2020, the largest ONE Hostel for Homeless Veterans. During his visit, the development of a scheme for regular periodic health checks for residents of ONE Hostels was discussed (Part of Goal 7 of ONE’s Strategic Plan). Cathal’s response was to personally establish a monthly clinic for the residents in Brú na bhFiann. The clinic commenced on the 6th October and is now in its third month, and according to Richard Dillon (House Manager), it is proving to be a great success. Cathal has told Richard that from January 2021 he will bring a second volunteer Doctor who wishes to be involved in the clinics. The IV on the buttons of the Irish Defence Forces continues to have meaning long after one leaves the service.
We are currently looking for Veteran Medical Officers who wish to provide a similar service in our other homes in Athlone and Letterkenny. In the future,we also hope that comparable clinics may be established in our planned hostels in Cobh (currently under construction) and Cork City