New drive to raise funds for veterans
CHIEF of Staff of the Defence Forces, Lieut General Sean McCann, has launched a fresh appeal for funds for a project helping former comrades who have fallen on hard times.
Money raised from the Fuchsia 2003 appeal will be used by the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women to fund the project.
The organisation needs over €600,000 a year to run its current facilities with residential centres in Dublin, Letterkenny and Athlone and drop-in centres at Dundalk and Limerick.
It currently provides accommodation for up to 40 former members of the Defence Forces.
Chief executive Ollie O'Connor said yesterday that the Fuchsia appeal was critically important to the organisation.
The objective, he said, was to help those who were homeless, elderly, or disabled.
"Many of these people gave outstanding service to the State and to the United Nations and for whatever reason, have not been able to make ends meet, since leaving the service," he said.
"The homes and drop-in centres do not just provide accommodation but also an opportunity to meet and socialise with others."
The fuchsia was chosen as the appeal's symbol as it grows throughout the country and is seen as a reminder of home when seen overseas.
The appeal runs until the end of next month.