Our National Advisory Council

Our National Advisory Council (NAC) represents the opinions of adults with Down syndrome within our organisation. The Council comprises of adults with Down syndrome from across Ireland. 

Learn more about the NAC here.

This National Advisory Council of Down Syndrome Ireland commenced their term of office in May 2022. 

Meet Our National Advisory Council

Sinéad Friel - NAC Chairperson

Hello, my name is Sinead. I am from Clontarf, Dublin. I am part of the Blue Diamond Theatre Company and I love to act. I like to go to the gym and play basketball but some of my favourite things to do are act, sing and dance. I joined the NCA because my sister is in politics and works for the European Union Brussels in Rwanda and she inspired me to join.  Read More

Sinéad Friel

NAC Chairperson

Hello, my name is Sinead. I am from Clontarf, Dublin. I am part of the Blue Diamond Theatre Company and I love to act. I like to go to the gym and play basketball but some of my favourite things to do are act, sing and dance. I joined the NCA because my sister is in politics and works for the European Union Brussels in Rwanda and she inspired me to join. 

Ross O’Neill - NAC Secretary

I'm Ross, I work at Down Syndrome Ireland as a Junior Administrator.  I enjoy football my favourite team is Man United. I won a silver in bowling at the Special Olympics in 2018. I have good leadership and good experience working at different conferences and I travelled to New York to do a workshop presentation with Stewart's care. It was called my free time. I went to Budapest on a European studies project with Trinity College Dublin to learn about other European countries and the European Parliament in Brussels.   Read More

Ross O’Neill

NAC Secretary

I'm Ross, I work at Down Syndrome Ireland as a Junior Administrator.  I enjoy football my favourite team is Man United. I won a silver in bowling at the Special Olympics in 2018. I have good leadership and good experience working at different conferences and I travelled to New York to do a workshop presentation with Stewart's care. It was called my free time. I went to Budapest on a European studies project with Trinity College Dublin to learn about other European countries and the European Parliament in Brussels.  

Conor O’Donnell - NAC Treasurer

Hello everyone! My name is Conor O’Donnell. I live with my parents Amanda and Keelan O’Donnell (and my dog Odie) in the Curragh. My ambition is to become an actor. I was in a TV series with Sharon Horgan called Bad Sisters. It was a fascinating experience. I am a big fan of Leinster and Ireland rugby and love going to matches. I play tag rugby with the Cill Dara Foxes and enjoy taking part in the Special Olympics events. I’m also a big fan of Manchester United.  Read More

Conor O’Donnell

NAC Treasurer

Hello everyone! My name is Conor O’Donnell. I live with my parents Amanda and Keelan O’Donnell (and my dog Odie) in the Curragh. My ambition is to become an actor. I was in a TV series with Sharon Horgan called Bad Sisters. It was a fascinating experience. I am a big fan of Leinster and Ireland rugby and love going to matches. I play tag rugby with the Cill Dara Foxes and enjoy taking part in the Special Olympics events. I’m also a big fan of Manchester United. 

Chrissie Maccalari - NAC Team

Hi everyone, my name is Chrissie. I was born in Africa at Capetown City Park Hospital. I moved to Ireland when I was 4 and have 2 passports. I’m in college. I love to cook and I really enjoy baking. Staying fit and sports are very important to me, I enjoy swimming, bowling, basketball, rock climbing, and going to the gym. I like to watch Vampire Diaries and The Originals.  Read More

Chrissie Maccalari

NAC Team

Hi everyone, my name is Chrissie. I was born in Africa at Capetown City Park Hospital. I moved to Ireland when I was 4 and have 2 passports. I’m in college. I love to cook and I really enjoy baking. Staying fit and sports are very important to me, I enjoy swimming, bowling, basketball, rock climbing, and going to the gym. I like to watch Vampire Diaries and The Originals. 

Eric Nolan - NAC member

Hi people, my name is Eric Nolan.   I live with my parents, brother and sister.  I play basketball for the club “Southside Shooters”. I also love soccer, walking, swimming and fitness training.  I love to go to Ireland and Man United football games and music concerts  I work for Diageo two days a week and attend the “Ash Tree” centre in Tallaght.  I joined the NAC in 2023. I’m happy to help to Down Syndrome Ireland and its members.  Read More

Eric Nolan

NAC member

Hi people, my name is Eric Nolan.  

I live with my parents, brother and sister. 

I play basketball for the club “Southside Shooters”. I also love soccer, walking, swimming and fitness training. 

I love to go to Ireland and Man United football games and music concerts 

I work for Diageo two days a week and attend the “Ash Tree” centre in Tallaght. 

I joined the NAC in 2023. I’m happy to help to Down Syndrome Ireland and its members. 

Una Coates - Una Coates

Hi everyone, my name is Una Coates. To tell you a little bit about myself - I spoke in the Mansion House to all the TDs and I also gave an opening statement in the Oireachtas for self-advocacy. These were an amazing experience. Also, I was on the Six One News for International Day of Persons with Disabilities to turn the purple lights on at the mansion house and wrote an article about “Working makes me feel important”. I’m also an athlete in which I won a gold medal with the Special Olympics for bowling. Read More

Una Coates

Una Coates

Hi everyone, my name is Una Coates.

To tell you a little bit about myself - I spoke in the Mansion House to all the TDs and I also gave an opening statement in the Oireachtas for self-advocacy. These were an amazing experience. Also, I was on the Six One News for International Day of Persons with Disabilities to turn the purple lights on at the mansion house and wrote an article about “Working makes me feel important”.

I’m also an athlete in which I won a gold medal with the Special Olympics for bowling.

If you would like to get involved or have any questions about our National Advisory Council, please contact our Adult Education Office, Sinéad Flynn at sinead@downsyndrome.ie or 086 103 5335