By Nick Rabbitts / Limerick Leader
A detached home in the grounds of Sarsfield Barracks in the city is being renovated to provide accommodation for veterans.
Members of the Patrick Sarsfield Branch of the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (ONE) have secured a 99-year lease to take on the home at the base, which will be used to provide homes for five or six former army personnel.
Located beside the Barrack Field, the building dates from 1798, and was a schoolhouse.
Subsequent to this, it became the commanding officer’s residence until they moved off-site.
It was then used infrequently by the Naval Reserve but is largely out of use now.
However, it is set for a new lease of life with a refurbishment and extension of the building to allow it to become a five-or-six bedroom house for veterans.
Gerry O’Doherty, a member of ONE’s National Executive said it would be temporary accommodation allowing those living there to eventually move into their own place.
“We will end up with quality accommodation. Each room will be en-suite, and there will be a laundry.
A house manager will be on-site, alongside a chef who will provide three meals a day,” he explained.
Mr O’Doherty, who rose to the rank of Commandant during his career, said many former soldiers would have become “institutionalised” from their decades in the army, and just need a bit of help adjusting to life outside this setting.
Anyone who does stay in the home will pay according to their needs, and will be selected by interview, he said.
It’s hoped the home, funded by ONE, will be opened by the end of 2024.
ONE supports the needs of Irish veterans by the provision of accommodation to homeless veterans and the provision of other advice and support through its nationwide network of Branches and Veteran Support Centres. For more visit www.ONE-Veterans.Org
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