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Only education that worked for me was the one I got in prison

Alan Croghan (44) had a chaotic young life growing up in Coolock, north Dublin.


From an early age, he drank, smoked and bought valium – from his father. He rarely attended school, and stole cars and drove them around, and turned his bedroom into a parts depot for his fellow thieves and joyriders.

By the age of 16 he had accumulated 35 criminal convictions, yet he had never been locked up. Fearing that his friends suspected he was a tout, he contrived to get himself imprisoned. It was while in prison that he learned to read and write. His crime spree continued, including armed robbery and hijacking a taxi.


A mugshot of him appeared on RTE's Crimeline and viewers were advised not to approach him as he was armed and dangerous. He was jailed several times and it was while in prison that he continued his education and his love of writing grew.

Alan trained as a journalist at Ballyfermot College of Further Education and worked as an investigative journalist and was published in Irish newspapers.

He battled alcoholism and was treated in Cuan Mhuire rehabilitation centre in Kildare. He is now a budding playwright and his memoir of a life of crime, Disorganised Crime, is his first book.