The Witness by Nicola Tallant


Nicola Tallant, crime editor of the Sunday World, tells Joey O’Callaghan’s story of how, from the age of 11, he was groomed to work for a gangland drug dealer and how he escaped and became a witness for the state.

Joey tells us about his background and his family and sets it in the context of the time; Dublin in the 80s and 90s.  His voice is engaging. We’re delighted for the 11 year old Joey when he gets the job on the milk float that he’s been so excited about, that his mother was delighted for him to get, in their neighbourhood of Blanchardstown.

He brings us with him all the way as he gets reeled further and further into the cruel and heartless underworld of drugs and drug-dealing, always aware of his mother and what she must be feeling.

Many times in the story he refers to his heart “thundering in his chest”.  Your heart will be “thundering in you chest” as you read how brave and truthful Joey had to be to escape the world of gangland crime.

Nicola Tallant renders Joey’s voice faithfully as well as providing a very good social history of the time.

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