independent

Sunday 20 October 2019

Ex-Mountjoy boss retells prison stories on campus

Former governor of Mountjoy, John Lonergan, gave a lecture in Wexford Campus. John is pictured here with students and lecturers.
Former governor of Mountjoy, John Lonergan, gave a lecture in Wexford Campus. John is pictured here with students and lecturers.

THE final year students of the BA (Hons) in Applied Social Studies (Professional Social Care) from the Wexford Campus of IT Carlow were captivated by former Mountjoy governor's John Lonergan's company last Wednesday.

The students invited John to open their end of year symposium on their final year dissertation research.

Students' research theses were creatively displayed on individual posters in the college hallway.

John Lonergan's talk was uplifting focusing on the inherent dignity of the individual and his or her right to be treated with respect.

He came across as a born storyteller, recounting many short stories from his time in the prison service, one where a person received their first ever birthday cake when the staff in Mountjoy realised it was the person's birthday and had a cake and candles organised for the evening meal.

He focused on the need to work in partnership with people, making a difference to others, why we can't enforce change and seeing each individual as having the potential to develop as a person.

John cautioned against any notion that professionals 'fix' another person.

Caroline Murphy, Head of the Wexford Campus, said that students benefited greatly from having renowned experts like John Lonergan come and talk to the students at the Wexford Campus.

Students maintained they found the talk uplifting and in particular the bit where Mr. Lonergan urged students to celebrate the people that they will work with and the important events in their lives such as their birthdays.

Family, friends and colleagues from a range of social care agencies attended and students.

The evening was a tremendous succes both in terms of the students' achievements and by John Lonergan's thought-provoking remarks.

Wexford People

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