The local branch of the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women (O.N.E) helps assist those who have left the forces.
The Michael McNeela branch at Aiken Barracks was opened in 2010. The national organisation was established in 1960.
It is for those who once served for their country and current servicemen and women.
“It’s a great service that keeps people connected,” said chairman Jim McEneaney. “People call in for a cup of tea, or if they are in trouble they contact us. At the moment four local ex-soldiers are currently housed with our branch in Dublin.
“We would contact the Dundalk Simon Community on a frequent basis to assist ex-soldiers.”
The economic downturn has affected the local branch. Last year O.N.E raised €5,000 compared to this year’s estimate of €2,500.
“We are feeling the pinch,” said Jim. “All of the charities are hurting. It must be said that the people of Dundalk are very generous and always have been. People give what they can afford and we have been grateful for their appreciation in these tough times.
“We are a social group. We attend a lot of wreath laying ceremonies and hold functions as well. A lot of the younger soldiers would call into the office, it won’t be until later that they appreciate the service we offer.”
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