Member Experiences

Here at Áiseanna Tacaíochta (ÁT), we understand that running your own company and managing your own services can seem like a challenging idea.  

But our members – who we call Leaders – are already doing it and reaping the benefits, and we know that there are so many people who, with the right support, will have the confidence and capability to take on these new opportunities and responsibilities.

If you’re interested in self-directed living and are thinking about moving to Direct Payments, here’s what our Leaders have told us about their experiences:

Self-directed care has motivated me to take more of an active part in my life and in the lives of those connected with me.      All I ask for my son is the support for him to reach his full potential, which I now feel is happening... It has been a life-changer.

I can make solid plans for my life rather than make plans around other people’s availability. I design and work towards my own future.      CKHART TOLLE

You can also see a feature interview with AT Leader, Catherine here.

Direct Payments have opened a new chapter for the disability community in Ireland, as our model gives people with disabilities and their families the power and support to direct and manage their own services – and lives – from the inside out.  Our Leaders are always there for one another, offering peer support, mentoring and advice to new and incoming Leaders and families at every stage.  

In fact, at our Realising Equality through Active Participation event last December, some of our Leaders shared their experiences of moving to Direct Payments, managing their own services and running their own companies.  To hear what they had to say about their journeys to self-directed living, just click on their names below!

Owen Collumb, one of our founding members, talked about the background to our Direct Payments model and the difference that it makes in his life.

Niamh Quinn is one of our Leaders.  She and her mother Anne Motherway spoke about what moving to Direct Payments means to Niamh and her family.  Through self-directed living, Niamh says she enjoys more flexibility in her life, and has taken on more and grown in responsibility.  

Johnny Ryan has been running his own company since August 2014.  Since taking over his own services, Johnny has returned to education and is busy making plans he says he wouldn’t have been able to a few years ago.

Maggie Woods manages her own Personal Assistant (PA) services through her company, Miss Independent.  To her, Direct Payments mean independence, total control over her own services, and empowerment and belief in herself.


If you’d like to find out more about our Leaders’ experiences of transitioning to and using Direct Payments, please just get in touch – call our office on 01 525 0707 or email info@theatnetwork.com to let us know!