On Monday, February 11th 2019 O.N.E. (The Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel/Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann) aims to raise public awareness and aid for the homeless Irish Defence Forces veterans it supports, by situating veterans in specially-created Tricolour sleeping bags around the streets of Dublin.
Dubbed 'Sleeping Flags', the symbolic act, which challenges protocols around the treatment and representation of the Irish flag, is to represent both the homeless veterans who died on Dublin's streets, which was the catalyst for O.N.E. setting up its first homeless hostel, and the reality facing current and future veterans if the charity is unable to keep its doors open.
To date, O.N.E. has helped hundreds of homeless male and female Defence Forces veterans who have served abroad in conflict zones including The Congo, Lebanon, Syria and the Mediterranean, or at home during The Troubles. Many come to O.N.E. with depression, disabilities, PTSD, or having suffered family breakdowns, with little support to call on.
Working abroad for most of his medical career, Dr Dom Colbert, a qualified physician and surgeon, has seen his fair share of hardship and sadness, as well as encountering patients with the most bizarre complaints, including one man who claimed a frog was in his head!