A grim tale of recovery

Wild Child, by Alan Croghan (Penguin Books, €9.99/£7.99)

This book was first issued in Ireland under the title Disorgnaised Crime.  Now under a refreshed and more effective title, it is reissued in paperback for the world-wide market.  In many ways this is a grim study of life in Dublin at the lower depths. From his birth in 1968 little Alan was a child out of control. School was not part of his life, drink and drugs were.

He actually bough his Valium from his father. Stealing cars and joy riding were his daily joy.

His list of convictions built up, but they did little to change his life. Yet he had never seen the inside of an institution. Fearing he would be suspected of being in league with the Guards, he got himself jailed. What follows is a grim tale of slow recovery and near death. He contracted hepatitis from his lifestyle. But then, without his fully realising it, a priest in Portrane blessed him with Blessed John Sullivan’s cross.

At his next session at the Beaumont Clinic he learned that his blood tests are back to normal. His hepatitis has reversed. He is clear. It was seemed like a miracle. For Alan it was a life transforming cure, to which he testified from the altar in Gardiner Street. This is a tale of modern redemption, revealing that no-one, however lost to life they may seem to be, is quite beyond saving, quite beyond changing an old way of life for something better.