Awareness campaign launched for homeless Defence Force veterans

The plight of homeless defence force veterans will be brought into sharp focus today.

Three veterans will sleep out in a number of locations in Dublin in sleeping bags styled on the Irish flag.

It is in a bid to raise awareness and funds for the organisation O.N.E., which also has operations in Athlone and Letterkenny.

Dubbed "Sleeping Flags", this campaign The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel aims to raise awareness of the plight of homeless veterans of the Defence Forces.

Three veterans will sleep out in Dublin in specially created tri-colour sleeping bags to draw attention to the challenges faced by ex-servicemen who fall on hard times.

O.N.E runs three homes for former members in Dublin, Athlone and Letterkenny where a range of services are provided.

"It's about individuals who have served under that flag over different periods of time both at home and abroad and now they need help and we want to make the public aware", said Richard Dillon, House Manager at the Dublin facility.

The organisation has a high success rate in finding long-term solutions to veterans' accommodation needs with 95% of those who turn to it for help end up in permanent housing.

Richard Dillon says the use of the Irish Flag in today's campaign will strike a chord with service personnel.

"It's not so much that the flag is on the ground, it's the person that's under the flag."

O.N.E. provides 16,000 bed nights every year between the three locations around the country.

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