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That pot Kenny show on Newstalk. Now, what you're about to hear is at times distressing, it's not really meant for younger ears. Joey O'Callahan was just 12 years of age when he was groomed into a drugs gang in Ireland. A cold blooded murderer then changed his life forever because he broke the code of gangland secrecy and his evidence secured murder convictions and life sentences for two of Ireland's most violent drugs bosses. This led to Joey being Ireland's youngest ever person in a witness protection program at just 19 years of age.


Over 15 years have passed since then, and Joey still lives in fear of his life. Now to tell us all about her new book, author of The Witness Nicola Talent, as well as the witness himself, Joe Callan, join me and I welcome them to the program.


Thank you, Pat. Now, Nicola, will you outline the background to all of this? You know, drugs are still a major factor in Irish life at the moment, but the background to this is really some of the most violent episodes that Ireland had seen.


Yeah, I suppose I have to take you back to the late 90s and into the early 2000s when cocaine and heroin were experiencing a huge boom in the same way as the Irish economy was was and due to the nature of the amount of money to be made and there was a lot of drug gangs vying for territories, they had become very, very violent. And we were beginning to see a situation where shootings were becoming the norm. Thus, when gangs were trying to control a territory, they handled that by taking out all their gangs or any disputes were also handled by gun violence.


And into the middle of that, you have Joseph O'Callahan, who was a young, young child, actually, who was living first in the Ballymun area and later in Blanchetown. His his mother saves money to move the family out of Ballymun to give them a better life. And unfortunately, when he moved to Blanchetown, a series of cataclysmic events happened and most importantly, when he was offered a job on a milk float by from a guy by the name of Brian Brian Kenny.


Now, Brian Kenny was a milkman. He he by all intensive purposes, he looked like a friendly milkman, but he was actually also running a heroin route and using using his milk float as a, you know, a cover for that. And so Joseph was essentially groomed into the drug world by CANY and ended up in a very dark place for for a number of years.


Now, the key event in his life was the murder of Jonathan O'Reilly.


Who was Jonathan O'Reilly and where did that murder happen to him?


Jonathan really was a 24 year old man who was murdered outside Clover Hill Prison in 2004. And his murder was conducted by, as you'll hear, by Brian Kenny and his then sidekick, Thomas Hinton. Hinton was running a drugs mob in the Condole Canaria, and he wanted to, as I said earlier, owned that territory himself. He didn't want to share it with anybody. And it was decided that he was going to to murder Jonathan O'Reilly. And Joseph at that stage was had been living with Brian CANY, having been groomed into his his drug world and abused for four years at his hand.


And he was actually living in Mitchelton Cottage, which was Cannis compound at the time, on the day that Henkin and Kenny returned home on a motorbike and clearly something dreadful it happened. They handed Joseph Thirt their letters and asked him to burn them. They gave him the bike and asked him to get rid of it and they handed him a gun. And at that point he realised that somebody had been murdered. That's the general description of the narrative you've written this book in the first person, you are Joey's voice for the purposes of the witness.


Yeah. I mean, look, myself and Joey, you've known each other for a long time and initially met when I was writing stories about the witness protection program. And, you know, this book is a is a long time coming. And when we sat down to write it, I did actually start writing it in my own voice and then realized that I had no place in the world. And I ripped it up really and started again. And Joey's voice and I think there really it came to life and the world and the narrative and everything around us is is is described by somebody who was actually there rather than somebody looking at it.


Now, I've been reading the narrative and I feel as if I am listening to your voice as I read it, Joseph.


And, you know, I know where you grew up initially in Manor Street, not far from where I grew up myself. I feel as if I know the turf. I know Ballymun, I know Blanchot Stone.


But the odds were against you from the very beginning because your dad and your mother had a violent relationship. She was from a family from the south side of Dublin. He was from St. Louis about her living in his mother's cottage. And he was violent towards your mother.


Yeah. And unfortunately, my mom was she was 18 when she met my father and he was 28 floor and. And at the time, my father was a heavy drinker and I was all out of life and drinking and gambling, that was that was really what he what he thought was of day to day thing. And my mom married and very young and moved into his house, a monastery, and probably straight away from the very beginning. My dad used to be a law and controller and a lot of physical and emotional abuse for over a year over a 10 year period at least.


Mm hmm. And it was one thing after another because they thought that the house which your father had inherited from his mother when she died, it turns out he wasn't it was a mortgage and he wasn't paying anything towards the mortgage because it was an artisan's dwelling that had been purchased.


And eventually the family lost that and had to move.


Yeah, well, I'm at the beginning and the very beginning of my mom and my father obviously had a job. And that's why that's where they met him at work. And then my mom was and he was paying the bill, paying the mortgage she was in he was paying the the bills, but he obviously wasn't. He was going to the poor people gave up work and he would spend the money on drink and gambling.


Unfortunately, you know, your mother comes across as an absolutely heroic figure in all of this, you know, doing the best she could for her children against all the odds.


Yeah, kind of. And we're talking about Mualla and. And yet, you know, she's, you know, moving house to get you out of harm's way, as Nicolas said, eventually going with her new man nihilo to Blanchard Town, not realizing that the people living across the road were going to, you know, be bad for you.


Yes, you just always toiler there. Like she she worked three jobs. She had six kids altogether. So am I. Tell my little sister came along. There were four of us. And she asked me to do a full field food on the table. And we had a nice home. We didn't have much, but it was clean. There were food in the presses, my water. She already suffered a lot as well. She suffered depression, anxiety, all the things that come with physical and emotional abuse and from trying to get away from me far, far out.


He was refusing to let her go. She had to go an and she just she just tried to do our best. And I took a lot to give up like that back then. There was wasn't the sort of thing you deal with, like get divorced or separated. So she she really tried to stick in there, but she couldn't do that. They made the decision. She she gave him the house. We would have the to stay and we fired up my mom and myself and the two girls.


We moved to England and try and start fresh. Now, I don't remember much about that, to be honest, because I was only have only a baby like I'm born. And obviously I remember coming back down to Baltimore and living in and four stories, and that's when I really want to start seeing a lot of the drugs and yeah, the like a pandemic really back out of heroin. And there was stuff we've never really seen before.


And the sort of thing is your father, who was utterly against the drug use and he had nothing but contempt for the addicts.


Your mother, on the other hand, you know, her heart went out to them because she realized they were victims of crime in moderation.


Very compassionate person. And I mom would always say we wouldn't understand this kid might be applicable. Why is he lying on the floor, going up the stairs of the flat and Baltimore and I have to step in over him, asleep on the leg in the laneways and all she Bellegarde at your 6:00 a.m. is ours completely different, even involved in a concerned parent against drug addict. And he would go on marches and stuff like that. He was really anti drugs and he was really strict with me, all of those.


And I was kind of lucky to be fair, because I was my dad's youngest child and I had a great relationship him, to be fair. Like he never he never physically hit me, never harmed me. He was he was though. He was an alcoholic. He was he was still a good father. That made sense. I used to go every weekend and see him would go and spend so much time. And even though everything he told to me merici she she never stopped us from seeing him.


She never bothered me. She never said bad things about him. She, she always let us make our own minds when it came to see if father and yes he was an alcoholic. But I think what can you do with just the way it was. We can change what happened now.


You appeared to have a stroke of good fortune when this man called Brian Kenny decided to recruit you to be his runner on the milk float. And, you know, good.


I did a good job for a little fellow at age 12 to be able to run up to the the door of the House, present the bill, get the money, give change where necessary and back on the float. And you were making pretty good money for a young fella able to, you know, buy the things that you wanted, the the clothes and the trainers and all the rest of it because you were earning honest money.


But it was like it was a Christmas for me, really. Unfortunately, I wasn't getting on great in school. We'd move from Ballymun to Blountstown. I wasn't really accepted in school because I was from a different area of kind of getting a bit of bullying. And my younger sister was there. So I was trying to look out for her. And unfortunately, what happened was I got suspended. I did. I think I think somebody had been bullying my sister and were for some guy.


And I got suspended. I was at home one day and the doorbell knocked. And then I opened the door to just a man standing there. And I was like, Yeah, well, who are you? And from the milkman. And then within five minutes, I don't know, he got from the front door to your sitting room to the kitchen. He was in the house talking to me. I asked him what I had the job. He told me I could start Freude and I was so excited.


It was just it was yeah. I was just so happy. Mama came home from work. She came in the door. I said, I'm getting a job. And she was like, What? You mean you got a job? I thought the month after being here that they give me a job. So I was delighted.


And so it went for a little while. It was just picking up the money, delivering the bottles, all of that, no problem at all. But at what point did you realize that he was also on a heroin delivery mission?


Well, the first time I happened was I was I was collecting the money, I thought, and that was our phone and it wasn't there wasn't really any issues, but it was when I started on the delivery the only time. So what would happen while he picked me up at 2:00 in the morning? And he would I would go and deliver the milk and then afterward I would go to school. So that would help with work. And then after it kind of happened real quick, it was just a couple of weeks we were up in a place called Fallen Blanchetown, the roof part of the Blanches town.


We were delivering milk and I was sitting in the van and he just puts it and he said, Open your hand. And I open my hand and he just put it in my hand. And I'd obviously for once in needles and something tinfoil on the floor, but I never actually see and feel like my hair looked like. So to me, I just thought was down the fort and what I knew then I kind of got the feeling it was something wasn't right or something, something bad.


You told me that when you go to the door going over to the door, put the milk bottle down, look, should open this open to that box, look through and drop the stuff through and do not leave the door until it drops. So I dropped it to the door and literally I could hear the fellow running and picking up. I got for me, run back to the van, jumped into the van, and he just his whole mood changed.


He was like it was like Jekyll and Hyde. He got real aggressive with like, did you drop it? Did he get out of the. Yes. He got out and he said, how do you know? I think I heard him picking up. And that was it really that was the first time it happened, and I just I was just going I didn't know I really didn't know what would have to happen on my wall when I just caved in and I went home and I was lying on the bed and I was thinking, I have to talk to somebody, darling.


And then then I didn't know where the fellow was going to take them, the toy. And then I didn't know what I was going to find out. And straight away from that very first time, I don't think he started the threat and the saying, if you tell anybody about this or such a memorable heroine, I'll put heroin in your sister's cars. You wouldn't want me to blow my head off stuff like this. From the very beginning, the threats and intimidation just started.


So I felt the AFL trapped, wouldn't I do not the first time I felt like I had no other option but to control.


How totally integrated then did you become to his drug delivery operation?


Yeah, from from the early stages of every night. And it was constantly without cocaine, cocaine or heroin dropping off every night and then going back to the door and getting the money at three o'clock in the morning, two o'clock in the morning. And then it started in the daytime as well when I was going to school. I grew up in the morning and I put my uniform on, by the way, it was for me, and then I change in the van, put me tracksuit on and he'd bring me to Baltimore, and then he dropped me to Baltimore, probably 50 bags like heroin calculous back down.


So they would have been like 20, 20 bucks and he'd leave me after the hours. And what I do then is I'd stand at the towers and go around over 7000 policemen and walk around the towers all day. And it's like sell the junkie to heroin. And he came back down and give him the money and you gotta give me more to stay or else he take me take me home. But he'd bought me a mobile phone and that's how that's how we are dealing with bringing me all the time.


It's just he was constantly there everywhere at home. He was just even when I came out of school, when I did go to school today, they had to go to school. So he'd be waiting in the van. It was just you can see on my wall of watching him. When did he start to abuse you?


Yeah, it was real quick, I think it was. Probably two or three weeks into delivering the deliver and delivering the milk, he didn't abuse me when I was collecting the money. It was when I started delivering the milk, there was a place called the apartment building, just how we called it off apart and basically. We would have been delivering the mail to each house. He'd done the joy of US oil in the the side of the road and then I finished before him.


I always of course, I was younger, so I was quicker. And we got back to the van before him and he was going to the toilet against the wall. And then he got to go into the fountain. What were you looking at me for? I said I wasn't looking at you, and that's when I started.


And and that continued. I mean, he knew that he had you completely in his power because of the threats he could make against your sister and your mother and all of that.


So you became literally a part of his operation, you know, did he promote you during all of this time? I mean, did you get more responsible jobs to do in terms of heroin delivery?


What he was doing was giving me cocaine and tablets. And so I was I was kind of just controlling and adrenaline. And I thought I didn't even know what cocaine I didn't when I started to live. And I was confused because I'd never seen her on before. And I want to think cocaine for the fourth time. Then he started giving it to me. So he stopped giving me cocaine earlier on when I started babysitting for him and his partner at the time.


And I was looking after the kids. And what he did was they bought me smoked cans and gave me cocaine for. Then the job. Yeah, I thought I was getting he was doing a robbery. He was bringing me a robbery when he was picking up guns, he started he started sending me on deliveries and pickups. So that would be is basically he would get me on a motorbike and I would go to Kandahar and I would go with the families.


I'd meet with me, Hanschen or me, Marullo or one of the big drug dealers. And basically what happened then if they try to talk to anybody, it'd be a large walk, they would be kilos. So it struck them around my legs, strapped them around my arms and strapped around my body. And then I put my letters back on and then I go back to the house then and then I go into the attic. And in the end, that was my bedroom where I lived.


I lived in the attic, in the house. And so all of what was in the room was a table, a chair, a bed. And that was it then. So I would sit down and I would step back in the studio. So I went from just delivering to where I started back in the way in the garden, collecting the money, hiding the money in the fields, hiding the drugs in the fields. Picking up cars, basically, so we have a big shipment, came in like a car with them from England, the car before the drugs, he would send me to pick up the car.


Hanschen what's it? What's it boy on watch. I go over, get into the car and they follow me and I go back to the house. We go into the shared it with a big compound basically. And we had a big shed out back. I go into the shed and what we start to do and we take the car, we take the car apart and inside the car would be full of drugs. And then we deploy around Dublin there.


Were you concerned that you were the one who's, you know, was putting himself in harm's way? I mean, if the guards stopped the car, you'd be the one behind the wheel and Thomas Hentzen and Brian Kenny would be nowhere to be found.


And they had to trust that you would not squeal.


Well, I think that's why they were doing to it in color, because they were so young when I especially until I got to 60 and nothing could really happen to me while they were from their age. And then when I hit over 60 and it was basically until I was caught, really was something really big. I wouldn't go out of Hollywood. I went to juvenile. So that's that was the whole point. I whole point to you, to me was and then he had me cheering up on what to say and what not to say in the police station.


You don't say anything. You pick a hole in the wall and after you just sit there and you just if you refuse to talk. Now, that's Joey IFAB, by the way, you were a victim of sexual abuse or you suspect that someone you know may be the victim of abuse, do contact one in four six six two four 070. That's one six six two four 070 or the Samaritans helpline on one one six one, two, three.


That's one one six one, two, three.


That Pat Kenny show on Newstalk. Well, now we continue the pre-recorded conversation with Joseph Öcalan, who is the subject of Nicola Talon's new book, The Witness, as I mentioned at the start of the first part of the interview. What we're talking about is not really meant for younger ears. Before when we were talking about the murder of Jonathan O'Reilly and I asked Joseph if he knew anything was up in advance of the murder, now facing what was happening while I was in the room, in the bedroom back.


And I've always just doing what I was doing on the way and scales count money, whatever. And I was actually that day, I was actually back and I remember and then I didn't hear them go. I heard a noise. I heard the shadows going. But usually they were telling me to close the door behind them. And that's all I knew. I didn't know who Jonathan really. Well, they didn't know. I've never heard of them before.


And so I was going to give someone a hold with a regular thing. I'd seen them shoot a people calling them people's mouths. I'd seen stuff like that, which was terrifying. That's why I was so afraid to even think about leaving and then never going to go to the guards. But it was when they came back then I was up in the bedroom and he called me down. They shut it down and I went into the shed and they were stripping off the letters and they were washing themselves and petrol and all that.


And they gave me the letter and told me to burn them. So I really didn't. It was all happening so fast I didn't really know what was happening. I didn't know whether it was just because they'd beat you up on the floor on them. So I started bawling the letter in the stove and then he came out and started shouting at me. He said I was doing it wrong and I couldn't understand why we're doing it wrong. He told me to Bornholm.


So I was born in the war and he said, I make them black smoke out of the guards. You know, some of somebody's seen the black smoke. So we put it out and then I put all the letters in a bag. Then the next minute he hands me a gun and says, get up to the field and bury and get back. And he walked out to the gate and stood at the gate as they ran up to the fields.


And I was just shaking and the corn was wrapped in plastic.


And I just. I just knew something was wrong, but I just I didn't know to go back to the hotel when I go back to the house, they told me. And they would after more than a fellow and a half, but they didn't know he was dead at this point. Now they have to assume that they were further after shooting a fellow or am I presumed he was dead? To be fair, and they did presume he was dead.


What happened was they told me they started taking drugs away and they were all drinking. And he told me to check the teletext. That's what we had back then. So I checked the teletext. And what I said is that the man had been shot. So I kind of have proven. So I share it with them. I said the man had been shot like a folklore of her prison. So I actually thought he was still alive because that's what I said on the telly.


And then they were panicking. They were like, what are we going to do with my dad? And I was just like, well, then I checked another channel and I came up on the other channel. I think it was there was two there were two teletext and TV three. I'm not sure which one came forward. And then I checked and then it came up. A man has died after being shot at Sokolova up and down. When I told them that and they were it was just horrendous.


They were clapping and cheering and jumping up and down. They were just I just couldn't believe what I was saying, like and they were joking about it. And they were talking the way they were talking about Jonathan was just the way he was when they shot him. The way they were describing it. It was it was just like somebody just I don't know if it was like a joke to them. And I was just beyond just shock.


What was your first instinct, not simply, Joey, to go to the police? Yeah, well, constantly Brian's thing, while he always claimed to have friends, friends in the guards and so that he would use that as a area. And obviously, I'm not sure what the situation was, but his claims were that was he had friends in the guards. And that way he would say he sent my family up and set my mother up, etc..


So that's that's why I felt I had no way I didn't know where to turn. So that was why I went. I mean, she was the man.


She was the only person I could turn to now to decide to actually testify against these people. Given that you were terrified of what they could do to you, what they could do to your family, how did that decision come about?


The minute I need to, John, then something just changed. The way he taught me and the things he done to me. Oh, yeah, fear consumes, you are hardened, you and I accepted that I wasn't in control and I kind of thought either way, I'm probably going to end up dead myself. I'm going to end up in the field of straight away, literally blow my head off of. I told anyone to shoot me, Maliki and my family.


And I remember just lying upstairs in the bed when I was thinking, I just need to get over here. I need to do I need. I didn't know what I knew. I needed to do the right thing, but I didn't know how I was going to do. I just needed to get to Moema and. Yeah, I need you to get me a up because I knew she was the only person that would help. So am. And what does she say to you when you told her of all the trouble you were in?


She just I think she was she was obviously in shock, but she just. She comforted me, she she hugged me and you we didn't know we didn't know what to do. My mind, she'd never been in that position. She's never been she's not from that hallway. So she she said, you need to do the right thing. And I said, I will. And she promised me that she'd stick with me and. And. On the right, and she did she hasn't she hasn't let me down.


We went down there and she's been now going back from then. Once I told the guards that was able to once they made the statement, once I gave them the gun, that was it was now going back. Now, the business of testifying against people like Brian Kenny and Tom Ascencion, terrifying, I'd imagine, walk walking into the into the court even.


I had to testify against them twice. First time I had to testify against him when he tried to get bail and Clover Hill. And I walked in and they took me in and I couldn't see because they were so small and it was all these cards were me and they brought me up to the box and I thought, well, Carol, people call me a rattlesnake and. Scumbag and astronaut, and then the next minute, when I call into the box, they look to Leroy and I just think Kenny in the box.


I didn't even realize he was going to be there. And he was jumping up and down. And he was he was trying to intimidate me. And he was staring at me and he was grunting and making noises. And the judge could see what he was doing. And the judge told the guard that was standing next me to go over and stand up from the Kennedy. So he couldn't look at me and he told Candy to sit down or be removed.


But then when I looked out into the crowd, all I could see was every gangster from fingerless Ballymun, Krombach, and everyone was there to intimidate me. He was staring at me. There were everyone everywhere. And you didn't want to be there, was there? And they weren't there to cheer me on for that way. But I knew I had to keep them in jail and I knew I had to. I knew I had to testify. It was the right thing to do.


At the end of the day, they're taking somebody's life. And I know I sell drugs and I don't everything he told me to do. But for me, that was crossing the line. I just I wasn't. I wasn't. And I just I just couldn't accept the fact that I killed him and I just didn't think of it like I couldn't sit back and just not do anything. I had to do the right thing. I don't regret it.


You don't regret it. And that is good to hear because there may be others in the situation who could do the same and take people off the streets who are a threat to so many people.


But did you understand the implications for your life that really you could never live in Blanchetown or Ballymun or anywhere else around the Dublin area ever again?


No, I didn't I didn't I never even knew I didn't have a hair protection, and I think Nicola would explain. Yes, well, most people go to the mall. I later learned the most people go to this witness protection deal because they have convictions. So they say to the guard, the guy guard to say to them, if you tell us so-and-so, what so-and-so don't, we'll let you off your charges and we'll put you in the witness protection.


But I didn't do it. I went and done it because it was the right thing to do to kill Jonathan. Like his mother, he had a moral fight. Our sister put us stone and they hadn't got anything on me. I don't know, because it was the right thing to deal with, with this perception that I went to the guards because there was some deal done. There was no deal done. They hadn't got anything on me. I didn't have to give them the gun.


I didn't have to give them the bike. I didn't have to give them anything. I didn't have to tell anybody anything. I could've just got on when it accepted me for who I probably would have died anyway. We were using drugs or get more by them because eventually they probably would have killed me. They would not do anything. Let me walk around with a secret forever. I didn't understand the implications of witness protection program and that's the only thing I regret.


I regret, however, three years and how I was let down and the promises that were made and not getting the right help, really. It's not even about the promises that were made a big problem for a lot of relief and that haven't happened, but not getting the early psychiatric help and not getting the proper support. And they promised me they wouldn't take me away and they did. And it was like I said goodbye to me in the car park and I went away by myself on a plane with a bag, and that was a penalty, they sent me off to a different country and I didn't know anybody.


And I was told never to contact my family again. And to this day, like Kenny's been in jail 13, 14 times, I haven't seen my daughter or my mother in 14, 14 times in six years. And personally, I think we had a meet and we did with the assistant commissioner. I think the minister for justice, the commissioner and the commissioner should hang their head in shame, because how that man has been getting out of prison, 13, 14, 23, his family and I was the one that gave everything doing the right thing.


And they can't see me as an absolute disgrace. How did you fare at the age of 19, going into a witness protection program, as you say, leaving the country just a bag onto your arm and off you go with.


How did you cope? I didn't cope with the fact that you prayed every day on my knees and begged for me to help out on drugs. I drank. I took tablets. I've done the sentence with them. The only difference with me is I've been locked in a room for the last 16 years. The only thing different is I can open the door. They can't. Yeah. And that's it's just I hadn't I had no blood, no support.


All I've had with me, Ma, and. It was me, my came and got me in with my mother, brought me home and only made a few sick of me and and I wouldn't be alive today, wasn't she? Just to this day that she stood by me, she's every day she tells me she's proud of me. She reassured me I'm doing the right thing for 16 years. Every day. She told me, you've done the right thing.


You've. But you're not home free, as you mentioned, he is out there from time to time on day release, and you wrote a letter to the parole board in, I think it was May of last year, 2019.


And I just read a short bit from it. Instead, he continues to terrorize me and my family for speaking the truth about him. I was informed only a few months ago that Brian Kenny had offered money to someone to have me killed. He will stop at nothing to get back at me and setting him free would be akin to signing my death warrant. I believe in the system of justice. When I told the truth and I gave evidence in court.


I believe that when Brian Kenny was given a life sentence that that meant he would not be considered for parole after such a short length of time. Jonathan O'Reilly is not here to tell anyone how he feels about Brian Kenny seeking his liberty. But I am and I want to leave you in no doubt that I object to this parole application in the strongest possible terms. I beg you not to let him out of prison. The hurt he has caused for so many people is only eased because he is in jail.


I would feel completely let down by the state and justice if Brian Kenny was to be freed at this point in time. Well, I cannot speak for Jonathan O'Reilly. I believe that he would feel the same. Did you get a reply? No, I haven't, we haven't we didn't get approval from the pro board. We don't get a plea. He got me to an open prison, that's what we call it, an open prison where we could be out within the next year or two and.


Yeah, he's going to come after me. I'm 100 percent sure what I've accepted that I'm kind of it's kind of sad, but I've accepted the fact that I'm probably going to die with a bullet. He had bought. I know I've done the right thing, and what can I do, I can't change what I don't, but I don't regret I never had to do again. Tomorrow I will and I will do everything I can. What? Evangelia, keep them in jail as long as I have breath in me.


I mean, you wrote to the parole board. Even behind bars, Brian Kenny threatens me often sending his cohorts out to try and find me where I am and threatening my family. I was badly beaten once on a visit back to Dublin and my mother's home has been smashed up. Amongst other things, I suffered from extreme post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of Brian Kenny's actions and the fear I still have of him.


So you know the future.


What lies in store for you in the shorter term? I mean, can you go back to anonymity and live some kind of a life?


Well, I can't do it. I would have to support the system and not give me the support. And I basically. I have I have a panic. I have a new alarm. I live a bulletproof windows and I have cameras all over my house and. I don't know what the future holds, but all I can do is keep them, I am the owners, make sure I don't make long term goals and make short term goals. I need to try and stay clean, which I have been the owner told me best.


I need to keep looking after my mental health, stick up my job, have a good job. I have to pay my bills. I'm not rich by any means. I don't have the money and I still have family and I still have I still have kids as well and I don't have the relationship. Unfortunately, Brian Kenny has with his kids. All I can do is just keep trying to be a good person and a. Live the best life I can work, I'm limited to what I can do.


I still don't regret. Well, Joe, thank you very much for talking to me. You are the subject of this new book by Niccola Talent, The Witness. But it's told in the first person, it's told in your voice, Niccola, you've been listening to our conversation.


And it strikes me that if you had been writing a book in the name of Niccola talent in the third person, that you would probably have a chapter at the end where you would have, I suppose, gone to the authorities and asked why Joey or Joseph is not being looked after better.


Look, I've actually asked that question a number of times over the years, and I've written articles about this situation and and others and the witness protection program. The fact of the matter is, I think at the time the program wasn't ready for Joey. He was young. He was only a teenager. He had a huge amount of trauma from the grooming and from the abuse that he suffered at the hands of candy. He was later, much later diagnosed with a number of complaints, including post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and other things, none of which he was born with, all of which were dated back to the trauma he suffered, having been groomed into a drug gang.


And really, I think probably they just weren't ready for the, you know, the psychological help that he needed and not to excuse that, you know, witness protection for that. I hope they learn from Joe from Joey's story and I hope everybody learns from us. And really, that's why we've written this, because this is a very dark world that people don't emerge from with articulate voices and, you know, with with an arm to tell a story.


They just don't. These stories are lost. The forgotten. Most people actually never get out of it. I think Joey was lucky that his his mother was there, always there for him. Everybody needs somebody. And he was able to reach out to her, you know, in his darkest of times. And she did save him. She saved his life a number of times with her support. So, you know, it's really important that this story is taken on board, that we as a society realize that the witness protection program is one that state funded.


And, you know, it's one that's very, very necessary in the fight against organized crime. In some cases, it's the only way that we can we can bring witnesses to court to give evidence. And but we need to realize that as a society, we have it there because we believe we should stand shoulder to shoulder with these people who are on this program. And we really need to make sure that we looked after properly and that there's aftercare for them.


Well, look, thank you both very much for joining us on the program today, Joey, for telling us your own story in your own voice. But that voice captured brilliantly by Niccola in the book, which is called The Witness, and I recommend it to everyone to read it is absolutely compelling. And once again, Joey and Nicola, thank you very much for joining us.