Anger as trustees ‘decide to close’ Royal British Legion veterans centre, Bennet House

Veterans who protested in support of Bennet House, Portrush on Saturday December 28.
Veterans who protested in support of Bennet House, Portrush on Saturday December 28.

Campaigners trying to save the Royal British Legion (RBL) veterans respite centre in Portrush claim that trustees have officially decided to close the centre.

It is claimed the decision was taken today to delay the closure until July but that it will be opened to non-veterans in the meantime.

Campaigners for the centre claim it was uniquely needed in NI –while other centres are being closed in England in a strategic review– because NI veterans are still living in “the theatre” of their service.

Both sides of heated debate put their views forward after final closure decision is taken

Richard Scott MBE, chairman of Military and Police Support of West Tyrone, said: “This is sad news for us all and I know that there is a hunger out there for information which to date has not been fed.”

He said there is an increase in veterans coming forward for help and that the legion “failed to properly consult with veterans” – something it strongly denied.

The statement was also issued in the names of George Black and Mark McLaughlin. The RBL released an official comment on Friday.