Irish Defence Forces veterans have set off on a march along the 170km National Famine Way to raise funds for a charity dedicated to ex-service personnel. 

Over the course of seven days, the group of veterans will walk along the Famine trail from Strokestown in Co Roscommon to its finish in Dublin to raise money for Óglaigh Náisiúnta na hÉireann / the Organisation of National Ex-Service Personnel (ONE). 

The march set off from Strokestown Famine Museum at 8 am on Monday, May 13 and is expected to reach Custom House Quay in the Dublin City Docklands by 3 pm on Sunday, May 19.

Veterans Jimmy Fullam, Peter Malone, Peter Downes, Ken Cleary, John Rabbitte, and Hugh O'Neill have undertaken more than a month's preparation for the walk and will be supported by a number of current Defence Forces members along the way. US Veteran Lt Col Bryan Bean will also be on hand to offer his support. 

All funds raised during the walk will go towards ONE, a charity dedicated to the welfare of Irish veterans. The charity's primary objective is to support the needs of homeless Defence Forces personnel by the provision of accommodation in its veteran homes. It also offers counselling services and support to ex-service personnel.

Speaking ahead of the march, Defence Forces Veteran and CEO of ONE Cormac Kirwan said the event will help raise funds to support vital ONE services. 

"We are absolutely delighted to be a part of such a fantastic fundraiser.," Kirwan said on Monday.

"We want to say a huge thank you to the eight Irish Veterans lacing up their boots this morning and raising money for vital ONE services. Without the continued support of the public, we would not be able to provide the critical support our veterans so desperately need." 

You can learn more about the 'Famine Trail Walk - Veterans Walking for Veterans' here.