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John Devane was six weeks old when his father died, leaving his mother poverty-stricken and struggling to raise seven children alone. Further tragedy followed when, less than a year later, his older brother was killed in a road accident. His despairing mother turned to drink, and John’s childhood was a nightmare of neglect and beatings. At age eight, he was sexually abused for the first time, by a neighbour. Thus began a cycle of sexual abuse that lasted throughout his childhood, by numerous people from his community, including members of a tightly run Limerick paedophile ring. Later, still not yet a teenager, he was pimped on the Limerick docklands.

By the time John was 15, he was suicidally depressed. Alcoholism and years in the wilderness ensued. However, against the odds, he made a remarkable new beginning, first by joining the army, then by returning to school and later entering university, where he qualified as a solicitor. He set up a busy practice and built a reputation for defending the criminals of Limerick when nobody else would. Then, one day, the unthinkable happened, when John received a call from police. A man was up on a charge of sexual abuse of a minor, and had requested John as his defence solicitor. Now John had a choice to make. Because this man had failed to recognise this successful lawyer as the young teenage he had abused many years before.
This is the extraordinary story of a life almost destroyed by abuse, and the hard choices one man made in his fight to recover himself.