Nothing about PJ Gallagher’s life has followed the usual script… Adopted at six months old by Dubliners Sean and Helen Gallagher, PJ spent much of his childhood knocking back Lucozade with the local alcoholics in his parents’ northside pub. But the chaos that reigned for his first ten years was nothing compared to what happened when – having lost the pub – Helen took in psychiatric patients from the local hospital to give them ‘care in the community’. Now it was a household of ten – PJ, his sister, his parents and six lost souls. Worst. Idea. Ever.
Madhouse is PJ’s riotous life story. The fantastic fantasies that come with being adopted (what if your birth parents are gangster space aliens on the run?). Being a kid while the adults around you are usually drunk, throwing house Masses or taking you to Camp Jesus instead of Trabolgan. Struggling at school, leaving early and discovering a talent for comedy. Making Naked Camera and creating iconic characters like Jake Stevens, the Dirty Aul One and Jumper Man. Acting in the ground-breaking The Young Offenders. Finally, finding a home in radio.
PJ also writes powerfully about mental breakdown and what he learned from his spell in a psychiatric hospital. Most surprising – to PJ more than anyone – is the prospect of becoming a dad in his late forties, when he always thought of ‘family’ as a trap. Madhouse is the funny, insightful and moving story of someone just trying to keep his head above water – and how he is making sense of it all at last!
Published 2nd November 2023 – Order Now.