|Martin Maloney is a Garda who works in inner-city Dublin|
What does social justice mean to you?
Social justice to me means that everyone deserves to be treated with diginty and respect. As a juvenile liasion officer I work in areas where there are many young people who are living in very difficult circumstances. It is very important to show these young people that we care about what happens to them and that we don't want them going to court. A great thing about the Juvenile Diversion Programme is that young people get a second chance. We want them to continue in school and or in some type of course and have the same opportunities that other young people will have.
This is what social justice is for me as a Juvenile Liasion Officer.
What do you regard as the major problems facing young people who are in contact with the law?
In my opinion young people become isolated from their community and sometimes their families when they come in contact with the law. There seems to be a feeling of 'I don't care about society because they don't care about me'. When young people have no regard for society then they will continue to commit crime against the community. As a JLO we are now using Restorative Justice, where the young offender meets the victim of the crime. Usually the young person can't believe that the victim would come to the restorative conference for their benefit. This can be a very powerful experience. I find that a young person might not commit a crime as readily because of this experience (sometimes).
Which living person do you most admire and why?
I met Peter McVerry about 7years ago and he was a huge inspiration to me. I have been in his office many times and he is the most selfless man I have ever met. I don't think he has any possessions other than a mobile phone which never stops ringing. Peter has taught me compassion and I thank him for that.
What is your greatest extravagance?
I have a Martin acoutic guitar which wasn't cheap. It wasn't too expensive but I would grab it if the house was on fire for sure.(after wife and kids of course)
Do you have any bad habits?
I don't really, but my wife might know one or two.
How do you unwind?
My favourite way to unwind is surfing but thats not always possible so I like to go running or to the gym either.
When are you happiest?
Just after surfing. When I see my wife and kids afterwards I am at my happiest. I come out of the water a much better person.
When were you on holidays last?
We went to Ibiza in June for a week (The quiet part). We have gone there a couple of times and really like the island, its so beautiful.
What qualities do you most value in people?
I admire people who are working for others in the community and really give it 100%. The qualities that these people have are ones like compassion, understanding, intergrity and a sense of humour. I did a work shop at a conference last year about working positively with young people and met Karl McGeally who ran the workshop. Karl works with travellers in Clare and the way he communicates to young people is a quality that I really admire also.
What talent would you most like to have?
I would like to be a musician. I can play the guitar fairly ok but am not a natural at it. Not a great singer either though so I would like to able to sing as well.
What is your earliest memory?
Not sure about this one, but I remember being very young and we were getting some work done on the back of the family house. I was going around with a small hammer trying to help the workmen but was probably getting in the way.
What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my guitar.
What books or films have inspired you?
I am inspired by books and films all the time. I saw a great film last week on dvd, Into the Wild, it was a very inspiring film. Other favourites would be Cinderella Man, The Hurricane, Step into Liquid and Waveriders. I read different types of books. I am reading Shakey, biography of Neil Young at the moment.
What other career/line of work might you have chosen?
I have no idea what else I would have done because I always wanted to be a Garda. I am delighted to be able to be a Garda and to work with young people.