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Our Board Members

The NAS Board is made up of a group of people with experience working in disability and public policy.

The NAS Board makes decisions about how NAS does its work.

The NAS Board makes sure that we are providing a high standard service for people with disabilities.

NAS Board of Directors assume their roles in a voluntary capacity. The Board of Directors meets on a bimonthly basis. In addition, there are three sub-committees of the Board which meet throughout the year. These are;

  • Finance, Audit and Risk Sub-Committee
  • Human Resources Sub-Committee
  • Policy and Communications Sub-Committee

Chairperson of NAS Board

Nuala Doherty

Nuala is the Director of the Centre for Effective Services. The Centre for Effective Services (CES) is a not for profit organisation, established in 2008 with offices in Dublin and Belfast. The purpose of the work of CES is to connect policy, practice and research, helping to ensure the implementation of effective services, to improve the lives of people living across the island of Ireland.

Nuala leads the team of over 45 staff and provides overall project direction in a number of areas, including prevention and early intervention; whole of government work; and projects with key statutory agencies in health, education and children. Nuala has an interest in evidence-informed practice and its application in the delivery of frontline services.
She previously held senior leadership roles in national state organisations in Health and Education.

A Clinical Psychologist by background, she worked as a clinician and a senior manager to bring change at an individual, organisation and systems level. She has held a number of Directorship positions on Boards and is currently the Chairperson of the Board of National Advocacy Service.

Board Directors


Donal Buggy BSc, MBA, is Head of Advocacy & Services with the Irish Cancer Society. The Irish Cancer Society is the national cancer charity in Ireland with the mission to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.

This is achieved through funding life-saving, collaborative cancer research, providing up to date information about cancer, delivering a range of services to improve the lives of people living with cancer and their families, and by influencing change and raising awareness of cancer issues at the government level.

He leads the Cancer Prevention, Cancer Support and Advocacy departments providing up to date information about cancer, delivering a range of services to improve the lives of people living with cancer and their families, and influencing change for cancer issues at the government level.

He is a member of the Irish National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 steering committee, policy groups on cancer survivorship, palliative care and psycho-oncology. He has successfully advocated for world leading policy initiatives such as plain packaging for cigarettes.

Prior to working experience includes Head of Operations for a non-for profit assisted human reproduction clinic and Chief Executive of Community Games.


Elaine O’Mahoney is currently the Head of Communications at the Central Statistics Office (CSO). She has over twenty years’ experience in initiating, developing and implementing communication strategies across a diverse range of public and private sector organisations.

She has previously held senior positions in Tusla, the National Educational Welfare Board and Murray PR.

She holds a BA and MA from UCC and is currently undertaking an MSc in Management and Leadership in Smurfit Business College.

Elaine is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Ireland and is a certified project manager.


Michele Tait has a long history of working with advocacy groups and patient representatives and has provided advice and support to a range of service user groups.

She has worked in health services in Ireland for almost 30 years across many roles within hospital and corporate areas. She is currently the Lead for the HSE in the implementation of recommendations from the Scoping Inquiry into Cervical Check carried out by Dr. Gabriel Scally, in 2018.

Prior to this role, Michele was the National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme Manager within the HSE with responsibility for implementation of the Department of Health multi annual public health plan which aims to make hepatitis a rare disease in Ireland by 2030. She was also the national manager for services provided through the Health (Amendment) Act 1996 for persons infected with hepatitis C through contaminated blood (2004-2015) and was the chair of the Consultative Council on Hepatitis C (2009-2015) providing advice to the Minister on all matters relating to Hepatitis C.

Michele holds a BSc in Biochemistry and Diploma in Health Service Management and is currently undertaking a MSc in Healthcare Leadership.

Helen McDaid

Advocacy has been an integral part of all roles Helen has held to date with specific collaboration with the NAS, and previous configuration, in the closure of residential services and the transitional placements of persons with a disability from acute hospitals to community settings.

Having worked in health services in Ireland for more than 25 years across disability and mental health services, Helen has held a number of different roles, all of which have carried frontline, operational and strategic responsibilities. Helen is currently senior manager with the Health Service Executive, (HSE) as National Disability Specialist, Disability Operations Community Services having recently completed a Masters in Leadership with the Royal College of Surgeons regarding, ‘the recruitment of competency-based boards of directors in the non-profit sector’.

With a background as an Occupational Therapist, Helen worked in community services as part of a new Primary Care Team, within a Section 38 organisation within Mental Health services delivering personal development programmes and as Development Officer with Mental Health Ireland.

As Disability Manager for Community Services, this role delivered home care packages and compliance regarding service arrangements. Helen was also co-founder of Bodywhys – The Eating Disorder Association of Ireland where the role ranged from operational development to board membership. Further voluntary work has included children’s welfare officer within the local GAA Club.


Having lived and worked as a person with a disability for almost 30 years, Tony Ward is committed to the importance of inclusion of people with disabilities as a priority in society.

He says that many barriers have been broken down but real inclusion and commitments from government and society still has many challenges. His goal is to help advance actions as a member of the board of the National Advocacy Service.

Tony is from Monaghan and studied accountancy after completing his BComm in University College Dublin in 1985. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1989. He worked in Deloitte from 1989 to 1991 and with a smaller accountancy practice during the mid-1990s.

In the early 1990s, Tony was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa that was not treatable – as a result he had to re-configure his way of working and over the years has used adaptive software to allow him to work effectively.

From the mid-90s to 2012 he worked in a variety of roles in business and consultancy in both the private and non-profit and charity sector. From 2012 to 2016, he worked as Head of Fundraising at Fighting Blindness and since 2016 is Director of Finance at The Wheel, the national representative body for the community, voluntary and charity sector.

Tony is keenly interested in sport and represented Ireland in 4 European and 2 World Championships in 800m and 1,500m between 1999 and 2005. He has also completed 6 marathons, most recently in New York 2015 where he raised €30,000 for Fighting Blindness.

Tony is currently a board member of Sightsavers Ireland, co-chair of Chartered Accountants Ireland charity and nonprofit Group and on the committee of his local GAA club.


Bio to follow.


Bio to follow.