John Lonergan was Governor of Mountjoy Prison until his retirement in 2010. John entered the prison service in 1968 and in the years that followed, as he saw human nature at its worst – and often, unexpectedly, at its best. He developed a deep understanding both of human nature and of Irish society. He also served as Governor of the high security prison in Portlaoise from November 1988 until May 1992.

In his memoir, The Governor: The Life And Time Of The Man Who Ran Mountjoy, published in 2010, John tells his fascinating life story – from his idyllic childhood in rural Tipperary, to coming face to face with the darkest aspects of Irish life, to grappling with the politics of working in a service that was the plaything of officials and politicians. His description of life in the prison service is a gripping account of humanity at its rawest and gives a unique insight into modern Ireland.