Ex soldiers secure new accommodation

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

FOUR ex-servicemen have avoided the prospect of being made homeless after generous donors stepped in to house them.

FOUR ex-servicemen have avoided the prospect of being made homeless after generous donors stepped in to house them.

The Limerick headquarters of the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen (O.N.E.) were facing eviction from their James Street home on Friday, after falling behind by six months on their rent.

The move would have left the army heroes - who have served in peacekeeping missions across the globe - without a home to call their own.

One suffers from alzheimers disease, while the others have fallen on hard times.

But after the Limerick Leader highlighted their cause, a number of people have stepped into offer accommodation on a temporary basis.

It is also understood that Limerick City Council were prepared to put the men up in a bed and breakfast to tide them over.

The men remained in James Street over the weekend, but are expected to move today.

Joe O’Mahony, president of the O.N.E. Patrick Sarsfield branch said the men will most probably move to temporary accommodation around the city.

He praised those who stepped into support them - but said that the organisation now remains without a home.

“I am delighted the lads got fixed up, but in the long term, we will have no headquarters. We keep a lot of our equipment in there, our flags and that. I am sure though we will find a place for these. It is a happy ending. No-one got hurt,” he told the Limerick Leader.

Former Defence Minister Willie O’Dea said a “three-way conversation” is taking place between O.N.E., Limerick City Council and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, in order to ensure O.N.E. has a home in future.

These bodies had funded the accommodation in the past, but that support ceased some time ago.

He said: “I am delighted these people are not stranded, but it is a problem which has been there for a while, and its going to have to resolved one way or another.”