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In life most of us will have at least one moment that can be a turning point. It could be a decision or incident that at its most intense can make or break us.

John O’Hegarty had an extreme version of that experience. It broke him.

“It’s like a crack emerged. I just floated away,” he says on a new podcast ‘I’m Not Here To Hurt You’.

What happened next is scarcely believable. A man destined for great things in academia went on to raid 16 Dublin banks.

He earned the nickname ‘the polite bank robber’ – but ultimately became Prisoner 33293 after leaving a trail of destruction in his wake.

On the day he robbed his first bank in 2004, he crossed over into a world where all his education became meaningless.

It was his point of no return – but it wasn’t the moment that changed everything. That came two years previously on a winter’s afternoon in 2002 when an accident would alter the course of several lives.

Irish Independent

I came away from this podcast with overwhelming compassion for John O’Hegarty, who speaks with what feels like unflinching honesty. He is articulate, and he tells his story with a voice filled with raw pain. I can;t help feeling that his experiences could happen to the best of us. I was engrossed from beginning to end, and I hope with all my heart that his life is calm and happy now. There are others whose paths collided bluntly with his who deserve sympathy too, which is why I think this podcast requires compassion and thought while listening to it.