A Word

From Our Chairman

" On behalf of myself and my fellow Directors I want to assure all of those who help Dóchas Midwest Autism Support that the Board of Directors place huge importance on the good governance of the organisation.  We are fully compliant with all of the rules and regulations governing the charitable sector and we are fully up to date with our fillings to the Revenue Commissioners, CRO and the Charities Regulatory Authority. "

- Denis Doherty

Our Board

Denis Doherty, Chairperson

Denis joined the board of Dóchas Midwest Autism Support in 2006. He has three children, two of whom are on the autism spectrum. Denis is currently the Chairperson.

He became involved when his middle son was diagnosed with ASD and secondary ADHD. Denis has been involved in the fire protection industry for nearly 30 years. He is the joint owner of Limerick Fire Protection for the last five years.

Gareth Devlin, Treasurer

Gareth joined the Dóchas Midwest Autism Board in 2016 and is the parent of three young boys, two of whom are on the Autism Spectrum, he is currently the Charity’s Treasurer.

Gareth became actively involved in Dóchas shortly after his middle son Jamie was diagnosed with ASD. Gareth works for Dell Technologies and is the EMEA Director of the Global Takeback organization. Prior to working for Dell, Gareth was the High-Performance Program Manager for Athletics Ireland, leading athlete services & performance up to Olympic level. Gareth holds a BSc. Hons in Mathematics & Computing from Loughborough University and is currently studying a Diploma in Business Innovation & Digital Transformation.

Orla Canty

Orla Canty, Board Member

Orla Canty is the most recent addition to the Board of Dóchas having joined in the Summer of 2020. She has two young boys on the Autism Spectrum, both with very different needs. She has a first-hand appreciation of the complex challenges of families with young people on the spectrum and also of the value of the service Dóchas provides in the Mid-West area. She has previously worked in Quality Systems and Human Resources with a wide experience of working in industry for 20 years. Orla completed a Masters in Human Resource Management at the University of Limerick in recent years. This is her first time volunteering in the Charity sector and she has used her knowledge and experience to organise the Governance processes and documentation for Dóchas. Compliance with the Charity Regulator’s Governance Code is critical to the smooth running of all aspects of Dóchas to meet the Charitable purpose and mission which is ‘to improve outcomes for those impacted by Autism’. Good Governance ensures that all efforts made by the Board and staff are in the best interest of all members of Dóchas.

Sheila Lowney, Director

Sheila is one of the founding members of Dóchas Midwest Autism Support (‘Dóchas – Hope for people with Autism’ as it was originally called). Her youngest child, Órna, was diagnosed with Autism at a time when there was little awareness of the condition.

Sheila, her husband P.J., and likeminded parents founded the organisation in 1997 as they recognised the need for increased awareness of Autism and supports and services for their children.

Since 1997 – under direction from the board of Dóchas, on which Sheila acted as Chairperson for a number of years – volunteers, parents, families and friends have worked relentlessly to raise social awareness and much-needed financial aid to help Dóchas secure facilities and services for people with Autism in the Mid-West. Dóchas’ achievements to date include being instrumental in the opening of Redhill Respite Care Centre and Redhill Primary School, an ASD-specific primary school as well as units. Dóchas continues to strive for educational settings tailored to the needs of post-primary pupils with Autism.

Sheila’s vision for the future of Dóchas is that, with the commitment of our members and friends, the organisation will continue to strive for improved services and educational settings for Autism and provide a haven of hope and support for present and future generations of people with Autism and their families. 

Gordon Ryan, Director

Gordon joined the Dóchas Midwest Autism Support Board in 2019 and has two children, the youngest of which is on the Autism Spectrum. Gordon became actively involved in Dóchas after witnessing just how much his son was benefiting from the social interaction clubs, how quickly it became his favourite activity and how much he looks forward to it every Saturday morning. Gordon currently works in the Finance Department for Tipperary County Council with previous experience gained as Product Manager for Boart Longyear Diamond Division and as a Sales Executive in the PPE market. Gordon holds a MBs. Hons in Business Marketing & Management Strategy from Limerick Institute of Technology and a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from Waterford Institute of Technology.

Get in Touch. Get Involved.

Dóchas Midwest Autism Support was established by parents in 1997 in response to the need for an organisation to represent the needs of people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Mid-West region. The charity supports children, young adults and their families.

14 Parnell Street, Limerick