This is the team of people who work for the National Advocacy Service
Louise Loughlin is the National Manager of NAS. Louise has worked with NAS since 2011, and has been national manager since 2016. Louise is a Qualified Solicitor in Scots law and has expertise in the areas of advocacy and the rights of people with disabilities across three jurisdictions. Louise has a particular interest in capacity issues and safeguarding.
Louise is a member of the National Safeguarding Committee and the HSE Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy Review Group. She is also a member of the NDA Expert Group on Codes of Practice for the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and the oversight from for the National Patient Experience Survey.
Corporate Services Manager
Tracey Dollard is Corporate Services Manager overseeing HR, Finance, Facilities, Governance and Administration for the organisation. Tracey joined NAS in 2017 bringing over 15 years of experience in Operations and Human Resource Management in both the public and private sector. Tracey is the NAS Data Protection contact person.
Greater Dublin Regional Manager
Suzy Byrne is the Regional Manager in the Greater Dublin Region which includes Dublin and Wicklow. Suzy joined NAS in 2011 and has a background in community development and rights work. She has a particular interest in access to justice issues and the right to a family life for people with disabilities. Suzy was appointed to the board of Iarnród Eireann in 2018 by the Minister for Transport and Sport as a person with a disability.
Midlands/North East Regional Manager
Rachel is the acting Regional Manager for the Northeast and Midlands of the service, which covers counties, Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Kildare, Laois and Offaly. Graduated to Masters Level in the area of Social Sciences with a higher certificate in Advocacy Studies, Rachel has over 14 years’ experience working in the disability sector with 10 of those spent working in direct advocacy provision. Rachel has frontline experience working across residential and community settings for people with intellectual disability and has a particular interest in this area.
Southern Regional Manager
Joanne joined NAS as the Regional Manager for the Southern Region in 2014. Prior to that she acted as Service Manager with regional oversight for a number of private residential services as well as having experience working within public services. Joanne established and managed several residential services over a number of years and was an executive member of the Irish Association for Social Care managers until 2014.
Joanne has a particular interest in professional practice and advocacy policy development and standards. Joanne holds a degree in Social Science (UCC), A Masters in Youth & Community work (UCC), a Diploma in Leadership (DIT/IBEC), as well as an Award in Managing People (DIT/college of Business). Joanne additionally holds a level 6 QQI Award in Training delivery & Evaluation.
Western Regional Manager
Josephine has worked in the Community Development Sector since the 1995, gaining a Community Development Diploma from NUIG in 1999. She worked as a membership development worker for a Centre for Independent Living in County Clare from 1995 to 2000, where the aim of the organisation was to ensure that disabled people achieved Independent Living, choice and control over their lives and full participation in society as equal citizens.
From 2000 to 2004, she worked for Clare Local Employment Service. This was a service funded by the Department of Enterprise and Employment to assist people who were long term unemployed to return to the workforce. During that time she qualified as an Adult Guidance Counsellor from NUI Maynooth.
In 2005 she returned as Manager to the Centre for Independent Living where she received grant aid to employ an advocate in a pilot advocacy project that was a forerunner of the current NAS.
From 2011 to the present she has worked a Regional Manager with the NAS.
Policy, Research and Communications Officer
Gareth Walsh is the policy, research and communications officer with NAS since March 2018. Prior to that Gareth worked in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, on their strategic engagement team and the public sector equality and human rights duty. Gareth has an LL.B in law and politics from Trinity College Dublin, and a MSc human rights from the London School of Economics.
Social policy and communications queries, including relating to this website, can be directed to Gareth.
Human Resources Executive
Samantha McGuill is an HR professional with over 10 years’ experience mostly working in the education sector. She holds a bachelor of science in psychology from the Australian Collage of Psychology of Melbourne, Australia and a Diploma of Human Resources Management from Australian Human Resources Institute of St Kilda, Australia. Samantha has previously worked in both the public sector at Victorian Legal Aid and the private sector with Sage Institute of Education and Leading Edge Bakery and Food Services Journal.
Samantha has an interest in developing systems to help automate processes and collect data for reporting, she learns coding in her spare time for fun, to help with developing these systems. Samantha has previously worked on building intranet, websites and apps to align with strategic business goals and objectives.