ONE – 2020 By Colm Campbell

The origins of Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann (ONE) are indelibly connected with the Defence Forces whose own geneses lie with the foundation of the Irish Volunteers, Óglaigh na hÉireann, in the Rotunda Rink in Dublin in November 1913. The first thirty-eight years of the Defence Forces existence was marked by the achievement of independence, a divisive Civil War, mobilisation during WW2, and demobilisation of the Forces in the post Emergency period. ONE was formed to address the consequences of that demobilisation in the middle of the twentieth century on the 10th of March 1951 in the Mansion House, and has evolved into a charity that seeks to address the needs of veterans in the twenty-first century. These needs are complex and varied and because we use the collective term veterans, there is a danger that these essential requirements are wrapped up into a nice neat parcel. Generalisation is dangerous because it takes complicated issues and turns them into easy superficial figures of speech. The needs of our veterans developed from difficult situations, and the circumstances in which some veterans now find themselves are both real and challenging.

Every one of our veterans, whether Permanent or Reserve, volunteered to join the Defence Forces to defend our country, to protect vulnerable communities at home and overseas, and to support the other institutions of state. History teaches us that defence and security doesn’t just happen. It demands people of character and competence. It requires sacrifice, and generations of men and women willing to volunteer to serve their country at home and overseas.

Read the full paper by Colm Campbell, Chairperson of ONE’s Board of Directors, via the link, below.