My time at MOT

“It all began when I borrowed the office phone and sat down outside to make a call… I was nervous and about to start on a pathway I would never have thought I could even consider.”

Iattended the MOT in Trim during my stay in Tabor House, as part of my treatment for addiction. I began in November 2016 and from day one and to the end, I found everyone to be very helpful, supportive and encouraging.

I learned a lot during this experience. I attended for five days each week and it was hugely positive.


On Mondays, we did Personal and Interpersonal Development with Sinead.

In a way that was hugely different to my working life, when I dreaded Mondays, I looked forward to Mondays with this course with Sinead. As well as learning personal growth, I found Sinead to be a very empathetic and understanding tutor. This was very encouraging to me and I grew in confidence.

I learned so much from this class alone, as it taught me to look at socially challenging situations from other people’s point of view, not just my own.

We also did interview skills, and this gave me a lot of preparation for the outside world, for the future. I learned how to present myself well for interviews and employment. I learned how to communicate about myself, how to put myself across to others.


Tuesdays, we had Orla for Painting. This was unusual for me as I really felt that I could not draw or paint, but Orla taught us how to express ourselves in a personal way.

I was very daunted at the start, resolute in my lack of artistic skill. I learned through time that Orla had proved me wrong and I did know how to draw after all. Self-expression is an area with many faces and I learned to think independently and to be inspired by my experience and how to reflect my situation in art.

When I found the idea of crafting the image of a key, I was inspired to look at my life so far and where I wanted to go in future and I found this very beneficial. When we drew a model, using two pencils together, the outcome amazed me, that I could produce this effect with her guidance. Orla brought out art in me that I did not know existed.


On Wednesdays, we had a class of Drawing.

Originally, there was no room in my life for art and I would have laughed at myself to think I might have an interest in it, but the class opened my eyes to art and to ideas. I found the values of creativity, of expression and of looking at other art works and seeing meanings and expressing my own reactions.


Thursdays we had computers with Dáithí and this class was essential for me. Before going to MOT, my computer skills were very poor. This class enabled me to gain a good working understanding of computers and I set up my first email account, sent and received emails for the first time.

I had finally become literate with this skill and of course, using Microsoft Word. It has become invaluable to me in going on to education at the next level. This was the integral building block of access to education for me.


On Fridays was a self-learning day, and this enabled me to sort out any issues that needed to be dealt with in my personal life. I could avail of phone, printing and email accounts to access course information that I wanted to pursue. I could view options online and learn about the path I wanted to follow in education.

When I needed to contact people to find out more details on a course or clear up some part of my application it was great to be able to both telephone them and to give the office number as a contact if they wanted to ring me.

I could also deal with matters concerning my finances and accommodation.

It was through the ability to use telephone and the internet on any given day that allowed me make arrangements for my interview for the Access Programme with Trinity College.

What MOT meant to me…means to me

My time at MOT was invaluable to me, from the skills I learned to what I learned about myself. It helped get me back into the path of education, doing so gently, not intimidating at all. The tutors were all generous with their time, non-judgmental and very understanding and approachable.

MOT was a home for me. When difficult and traumatic circumstances came to me one day and I was overcome for hours with a huge emotional blow, it was here that I felt secure, found comfort and a safe outlet for me to express my feelings and my upset. I will always be grateful for this and forever grateful to all the staff of MOT for their professionalism, their support and the refuge that MOT was for me at times of greatest upheaval.

After leaving MOT I have since secured a place at the university. It was at MOT that I received the help of Dáithí and Sinead, who gave me references and support in making my application for various access courses.

In 2017, I entered a year of full-time university access course at Pearse College, Crumlin.

I found this challenging and I know it would not have been possible without the preparation I received at MOT in Trim. I gave this my best effort for the year and scored highly in my results.

I am now about to embark on a four-year Level 8 course at Trinity College and will commence in September 2018.

I cannot stress enough how important my time at MOT has been for me. It was a refuge from Tabor House, a place of personal growth and success and I am forever thankful to Dáithí, Sinead and Orla for their support with the all important first step.

To this day, I still maintain contact with Dáithí and see him as a friend as much as he was a mentor at the start of my journey and I appreciate his support as my journey continues.

The MOT motto

Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.

This is more than just a sentence written down. From day one on the course at MOT everything was set to empower me and help me take control of my life in a positive way. I always felt involved in everything that was happening there and built a respect for the course, my fellow classmates and myself.

I would recommend the course to anyone.

Martin Doolan

MOT LTI November 2016 to May 2017

Update on Martin’s journey
Martin appeared on the RTE Six One news on 22nd March 2021.

He is almost at the completion of his studies in Trinity College, Dublin and advises everyone to “Put one foot in front of the other and Go For It”.