ÁT Stakeholders Group

L-R:Breda Mulvihill (HSE), Mark Blake Knox (Cheshire Ireland), Claire Crehan Dowdall (Irish Wheelchair Association), Helen Lahert (Citizens Information Board), Aisling Jones (Áiseanna Tacaíochta), Owen Collumb (Áiseanna Tacaíochta participant), Martin Naughton (Director of Áiseanna Tacaíochta)

From the outset we understood the critical importance of open communication with the current service providers and members of the HSE. One of the earliest measures taken by Áiseanna Tacaíochta was to form a stakeholders group to foster a partnership relationship with some of the organisations that are conscious of the need for Direct Payments in Ireland. The inaugural meeting of Áiseanna  Tacaíochta’s stakeholder’s group was held in the Citizens’ Information Board offices on the 24th of January 2010.

This was an important meeting of minds for Áiseanna Tacaíochta as each member has crucial knowledge and expertise in the area of disability and the relevant experience to help with the development of a direct payments model in Ireland.

Mark Blake Knox, is the chairperson of this group and is the Chief Executive of Cheshire Ireland. The HSE was represented by Breda Mulvihill (pictured) who works with the HSE in the National Disability Services Unit. A second HSE represented selected to be a part of this advisory group is Jackie Barron, the Area Manager of Louth Disabilities Services in the HSE and the Irish Wheelchair Association were represented by Claire Crehan Dowdall (pictured) the National Development Officer of IWA. Helen Lahert (pictured) represented the Citizens Information Board , CIB, and is the Manager of Advocacy and Accessibility with the CIB. Owen Collumb (pictured) was selected as a Leader representative to contribute and advise as a participant in our project.

This group will operate in an advisory capacity to Áiseanna Tacaíochta and inform their individual organisations of our progress as we begin to recognise the necessary steps that must be taken in order to develop a Direct Payment model in Ireland.