Address by President of ONE –
It is an honour to serve as National President of Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann as this great organization celebrates its 70th Anniversary of establishment. ONE, an organisation that amalgamated two veterans associations into one, has continually evolved over those 70 years from what was essentially a comrades association to a charity that now operates three hostels for homeless veterans, fifteen Veterans Support Centres, 37 Branches, a Veterans Welfare Pathway, a link up with Section 38 Hospitals to create a long term care pathway for veterans, and further facilities under construction or being planned.
I wish to thank all who supported me during my period in office. I would like particularly to thank the three Area Council Presidents / Chairperson for their loyal support and courtesy.
I wish to extend a thank you to all those Branches who invited me to attend their Annual Masses, Remembrance Ceremonies, Parades and other events.
As you are aware, the COVID 19 Pandemic has made the past year very difficult for everyone and because of restrictions I was unable to be present at events and branch ceremonies I had intended to attend. I know the branches who offered me invitations to these ceremonies will understand that my non-attendance was completely due to Government restrictions. Hopefully, before the end of my term in office, I will at least be in a position to visit some of these branches.
To all of our members and their families who have lost love ones during the last eighteen months, I wish to offer my deepest sympathies. May they rest in Peace. Cuimhnímis.
My thanks also to the Chairperson and members of the Board, CEO Ollie O’Connor and Executive Assistant Paul Cooley for their support, advice and help.
I wish to congratulate the Managers and Staff of our three homes on their work throughout the year and their endeavours to keep COVID-19 out of the homes. Thank you very much.
I wish to congratulate Paddy Rooney on his retirement from the Board after 23 years of outstanding service and wish him all the best for the future.
In conclusion, I wish all delegates a fruitful, successful, and for the first time online, Annual Convention,