Niamh Horan: Prison changed my life
It isn't until they are serving life that they learn how precious it is. But as society is busy writing off its misfits, there are people devoting their lives to making others see a better way, writes Niamh Horan
'In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." - F Scott Fitzgerald.
When Pat Kavanagh was 16, he had to navigate his way home each day through pushers slipping brown and white pearls of heroin into desperate hands and selling their wares to sore-covered junkies on Balbutcher Lane in Ballymun.
Today, like many who grew up in the disadvantaged areas of north Dublin, he finds himself spending the last few years in prison.