John Lonergan was Governor of Mountjoy Prison until his retirement in 2010. A native of Bansha, Co. Tipperary, John joined the Irish Prison Service in 1968. He also served as Governor of the high security prison in Portlaoise from November 1988 until May 1992. He is married with two grown-up daughters.
John argues that there is a direct link between crime and social and economic deprivation and believes that the biggest challenge facing us today is not the economy but how we are going to create a just, inclusive and cohesive society based on the core values of justice, equality fairness and compassion. His memoir, The Governor: The Life And Time Of The Man Who Ran Mountjoy, was published in 2010.
On the Irish Penal Reform Trust, he writes:
"For many years I have been an great admirer of the work undertaken by the Trust in monitoring and commenting on developments, or the lack of them, within the Irish penal system. The Trust's main attraction for me is its total Independence of the State system, its great courage to speak out publicly and to challenge the establishment on all matters of penal policy and direction and above all its absolute integrity.
"In addition, the Trust plays a vital role in ensuring that the general public have a better and more informed insight into the workings of the penal system."
- John Lonergan