PJ Gallagher



The naked truth about my chaotic childhood, losing my mind and finding a place to call home


I grew up in a psychiatric experiment crossed with an alcoholic experiment. . . . a place run by two people who were extraordinarily drunk and guarded by a potentially vicious dog with a brain tumour.

PJ Gallagher 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 - his mum 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. 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 iconic TV shows like Naked Camera and The Young Offenders. Finally, finding a home in radio.

Covering everything from dogs, motorbikes and the art of small talk, to the lessons of mental breakdown and finally figuring out love, this is PJ unbound. 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!