6 July 2016 - Fuchsia Appeal for the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel.

2pm - Earlier today Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM launched the Organisation of National Ex Service Personnel (ONE) at the Defence Forces monument in Merrion Square, Dublin. In launching the appeal, the Chief of Staff was accompanied by Ollie O'Connor, Chief Executive of ONE, newly elected Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Brendan Carr, Minister of State at the Department of Defence Paul Kehoe and also present were Minister of State for Justice David Stanton TD and former Minister for Defence Simon Coveney TD now Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government. ONE launches their annual Fuchsia Appeal to help raise funds to assist former members of the Defence Forces who have regrettably fallen on hard times.

ONE needs to fundraise €600,000 annually to continue running its residential centres in Dublin, Letterkenny and Athlone and drop-in centres in Dundalk and Limerick. The ONE is currently providing residential care for up to 40 former Defence Forces members. The Fuchsia badge is sold as part of the fundraising initiative, and is stamped with the word ‘Cuimhnímis’, - 'Let us Remember'. The fuchsia itself was chosen as the fundraising symbol because it is widely grown throughout Ireland and is also known as Deora Dé or ‘God’s Tears’.

Today, the Fuchsia serves as a fundraising symbol, a badge of remembrance and an emblem to honour all those currently serving in the Defence Forces. Ollie O'Connor, Chief Executive of ONE said today, “The Fuchsia appeal is vital for the organisation. It enables us to help former colleagues who are having a difficult time and without a home. Many of these people gave outstanding service to the State and to the United Nations and for one reason or another have not been able to make ends meet since leaving the service.”

In launching the appeal, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM said it was a privilege and honour to do so. He spoke of the support, sacrifice and hope that ONE provides to its members, saying charity begins at home and he commended and thanked ONE for their continued work.

There was also a special presentation of a Certificate of Appreciation to Trisha McLoughlin, who has been a great advocate and fundraiser for ONE, as she herself battles cancer. Trisha has recently raised €6,200 by swimming a mile for the ONE, which is one of her many recent fundraising efforts. Trisha is the wife of DF Veteran Colin McLoughlin and mother of Cpl Kiara Conaghton, 6 Inf Bn.

For additional photographs please go to the following link: https://flic.kr/s/aHskCPF5rT

To find out more about the ONE visit: www.oneconnect.ie

Press Release Date: 06 July 2016

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Pat O’Connor

Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503

Mobile : 087 2482130

E-mail: Press Officer