The organisation was founded by four people with Ataxia, who formed the board of directors and trustees and has since increased the board to seven trustees, five with an Ataxia and two, non-disabled people. The Board of AFI will always have most trustees with Ataxia, the reason for this is that it brings the wishes, voices and influence of the members into the boardroom and the ethos of “by members for members”. The only charity we know of with this structure.
The current structure of the Board of AFI is the Chairperson: John Kelleher, Company Secretary: David Power, Treasurer: Rita McDermott, Head of Finance: Ken Caulfield, Youth Affairs: Rachel Byrne, Anita Gracey (NI), Founder & Interim CEO: Al Young.
THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
The management committee is made up of subgroups of volunteers who meet up once a month with the board, these groups are the
Ataxia Support Team (AST) and Brenda O’Hara, Nora Young, (helpline) Tom Kelleher, Bereavement Grants, Assistance with hospital appointments, Ataxia Clinic, representation with Agencies.
REGIONAL SUPPORT TEAM (RST)
Sean O’Hara, Willie Barratt and Teresa Kane are building a network of members to reach out and gather feedback and discuss at management level and target support to where it’s needed.
It saddens me to say that Al Young as Chief Executive Officer of Ataxia Foundation Ireland, made a formal announcement at July’s AFI AGM 2023, that he is stepping down from the role on medical grounds.
Al had a massive undertaking as founder and interim CEO of AFI, and has worked tirelessly, taking the organisation from strength to strength. Undoubtedly AFI would not exist without his vision and dedication. Al is fearless and met all challenges head-on.
Al has not just been a desk-based worker, on a personal note, he shown care for the individual member. Al’s good humour, optimism, and warmth to all is legendary.
Al and his wife Nora have allowed their home to be used as the AFI office, meaning a financial saving for AFI, and displaying great generosity of spirit.
It has truly been an honour to work with Al. We wish Al the best of luck in the future.