ONE held its 2023 Annual Convention and AGM on the 30th of September in McKee Barracks, Dublin.
Branch Officers from around the country attended and voted on motions that make the organisation proactive towards ‘best practice’ and adaptable to change.
ONE CEO Cormac Kirwan was the MC for the convention and asked the room to show respect for the ONE’s National President Diarmuid Higgins, who started proceedings with the ONE prayer.
The CEO’s and President’s Reports were read out before ONE Board Chairperson Colm Campbell gave the Convention an updated brief on ONE’s Aims, Objectives and nine Strategic Goals.
After lunch Major General Adrian Ó Murchú, Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) addressed those assembled and updated them on the challenges faced by the Defence Forces and addressed the issues at hand and the positivities that can be seen for the future of the Defence Forces. General Ó Murchú said he was immensely proud of ONE, he told of his father who served as an NCO in the PDF, and of his memories of his dad being proud to wear his ONE uniform.
“I want to thank ONE from the bottom of my heart, for all the work you do for our veterans. You don’t just talk the talk, you say what you are going to do – and you do it! Your work is there for all to see.”
ONE’s Annual General Meeting was at 4pm and the 17 motions gave way to some interesting discussions and for and against most motions, with only two motions not carried.
Two board members were finishing their terms, Patrick Flavin and Eddie McCarthy and three were unanimously elected: Adrian O’Brien, Denis Larkin and Barry Walsh. Patrick and Eddie were thanked for all their work over the last few years.
The Branch of the Year Committee then announced the Sgt Pat Mulcahy DSM Branch as the winner for 2023 – who was a very deserving winner and well done to all Branches who entered. The Award was presented by ONE’s National President Diarmuid Higgins to Branch Chairperson Mick Kinahan, who thanked all the branch members for the great work they did over the year, be it in the Veteran Support Centre, and at events and out fundraising.
ONE Chairperson Colm Campbell closed the Convention and AGM:
On behalf of the President and the Board of ONE, can I thank:
- The Defence Forces, GOC 2 Bde, OC McKee Bks and staff for hosting the Convention.
- Head Office and the Sgt Pat Mulcahy DSM Branch for organising the Convention.
- Our staff for the care that they provide for veterans.
- And our Area Councils and Branches for their outstanding work.
Our Patron, Michael D. Higgins Uachtarán na hÉireann referred to the spirit of comradeship in an address on 11th September 2019 in Áras an Uachtaráin when he stated:
“The spirit of camaraderie and solidarity among serving and retired soldiers, sailors and Air Corps personnel is an innate and vital part of the culture of serving in the Defence Forces.”
The President went on to state,
“It is something I have witnessed. I have, for example, had the privilege of visiting Brú na bhFiann, the residence for homeless former members of the Defence Forces. On the occasion I visited, I was moved by the spirit of kindness, compassion and solidarity … in looking after their comrades and in extending that work into the local community.”
He further stated,
“Your shared experience gives you perhaps a unique empathy and a deep understanding that men and women who have given so much in the service…should not have to experience such difficulty.”
ONE lives by action rather than words. That action is exemplified by our homes for homeless veterans, our support for veterans through our network of branches and veteran support centres, our much-needed counselling service, and other mental health programmes. We, as staff and members of ONE, will continue that work in the years and decades ahead. On behalf of the veterans you support, I thank you all.
See ONE-Veterans.Org for more on ONE.
Photos by Wayne Fitzgerald, more photos here: www.facebook.com