Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence

Defence Forces Veterans: Discussion

Mr. John Murray:

I am grateful for the opportunity to speak. As UN veterans we are very grateful that our service contributed, in a small way, to Ireland achieving a seat on the UN Security Council. Deputy Berry asked about the €11,000 grant that we get from the Defence Forces. That goes out in the form of two cheques, one to our insurer and the other to our accountant. That is where that money goes. We asked that the grant be increased because Covid hit all 21 of our posts, which are countrywide and totally self-sufficient in terms of being voluntary. They depended on their bucket day collections, lottery draws and so on but all of that dried up and they were in the red and in trouble. We asked for support for them with their rent, heating, transport and other bills. Our accountant came back to me after doing a survey of all our posts and indicated that we were down by €55,000 for last year. The sum of €50,000 will go towards paying those bills and keeping those posts afloat. To date, we have used up half of our own resources to keep those posts afloat. We are hopeful that the Department will have some good news on this. We are meeting the Minister next week and we hope that will be our Christmas present from him.