Sarsfield Barracks officer’s house to accommodate homeless Limerick veterans

By Katie O’Donovan / Limerick Post

The former officer’s house in Sarsfield Barracks in Limerick City is to be turned into accommodation for homeless veterans.

The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (ONE) has unveiled plans to turn the former officer’s house into a five bedroomed live-in facility for homeless veterans, as well as a drop-in veterans support centre.

The build will come at a cost of less than €1million, with government funding ring-fenced to pay for the majority of the project.

10 per cent of the funding will be required to be put forward by ONE through fundraising.

According to a statement sent to the Limerick Post, the ONE team is currently waiting for the final touches to be completed on the leasing agreement before construction work can begin.

It is expected that the accommodation will be up and running by the end of this year.

As well as the accommodation in Limerick, ONE are also planning similar accommodation blocks in Cork and Newbridge in County Kildare.

Both the Cork and Kildare accommodation facilities will also have six bedrooms, with the Cork facility projected to cost up to €1.4million, while the Kildare facility will cost in excess of €1.6million.

The three residential centres for homeless veterans will be open within the next 18 months.

ONE also plans to appoint another veterans support officer (VSO), bringing the total number across the country to five.

Cormac Kirwan, chief executive of ONE, said: “We also intend to appoint our fifth Veterans’ Support Officer (VSO) who we expect will be placed in the Munster region.”

It costs around €50,000 a year to employ a VSO, according to the charity.

Last year, ONE set up a mental health support hotline for veterans.

The project, currently running on a two-year pilot scheme, has proved very successful, the charity says, with plans to make it a permanent addition, as well as expanding the service to family members of veterans.

The call centre, which costs €25,000 per year to operate, is run on its behalf by Laya Spectrum and funded by the Leopardstown Park Hospital Trust.

ONE will also open up its membership to current serving Defence Forces members, and will introduce a comprehensive benefits programme that will be available to all members.

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