LIT Tipperary’s conference centre housed an enthusiastic audience on March 13th last, as former Governor of Mountjoy Prison and Tipperary native, John Lonergan hosted a guest lecture for Sociology students on the college’s Sports Strength and Conditioning, Social and Community Studies and Business degrees. Given John’s popularity as an inspirational speaker to young people, an invitation to the event was also extended to local secondary schools and was attended by students from Presentation Secondary School and Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed, Thurles.
Touching on a wide variety of topics in his lecture from social justice to the scourge of drugs in modern society, John gave students a fascinating insight into the prison service in Ireland, as well as the various people he has encountered during his forty two years in the Irish Prison Service, twenty four of which he served as the most senior figure in the country’s largest prison. A most interesting speaker, he discussed the influence socio-economic circumstances play in young people’s behaviour and how it is a major contributing factor in the path they choose to take in society. A lively debate ensued after the lecture where John fielded a number of wide ranging questions from students and staff on areas such as the role of community and rehabilitation of former offenders. In the afternoon, John hosted a series of workshops with the Sports and Social and Community Studies students and with the budding entrepreneurs from the college’s FBLI (Future Business Leaders of Ireland) society. LIT Tipperary appreciates John’s great generosity in giving of his time and sharing his experiences with openness and empathy which impressed everyone in attendance