On the 5th of February 2013 John came to Saint Aidan’s church to talk to us about his life story.
He told us about how he lived in England and that when he was young his parents were getting a divorce. They asked him who he would like to live with. He thought that no-one loved him.
He told us when he was 15 he was sent to a detention centre. He went to prison again when he was 19 for stealing. When he came out he was spending time with gangs. He was very violent. He says:
“I had what I thought was everything. Money, power, girls, drugs the lot. But yet there was something missing... This struck me more than ever, when I thought I had killed someone outside of a nightclub I was working at. After nearly taking that man's life, something incredible happened and my life began to change.”
He began to pray to God and to go to church. He felt very happy and at home. So when he was in his twenties he became a catholic and he got confirmed.
He explained about the different gangs he had met, like one in America that when you tried to join you have to go on a train, walk up to a stranger who you don’t know and slash them with a knife.
John has written a best selling book about his life called "From Gangland to Promised land" and he now travels all over the world giving talks about his experiences.
After John’s talk he got a picture with the Justices and Peace group and the story of John’s visit was in the Tallght Echo.
By Paula Noonan (2nd Year, St. Colemans)