Lockdown in Ireland was a different experience for everyone – there were the really hard moments, the moments that made us appreciate each other, the frustrating moments and the ones filled with fear. But throughout it all, there were some fairly steady public figures guiding us through and keeping the boat on course. Tony Holohan, whose steady and calm presence was a reassuring balm over the Covid panic on the news, Claire Byrne, whose shed antics gave us all a laugh and insight during uncertain times and Richard Chambers, the news correspondent from Virgin Media News that half the country fell in love with over the course of the year.
And now, the news heartthrob is getting his say on the matter, as HarperCollins Ireland announces the acquisition of Richard Chambers ‘A State of Emergency’, to be published the 28th October 2021.
As the News Correspondent with Virgin Media News, Richard Chambers is one of Ireland’s most recognisable and respected broadcast journalists. His observations and insights over the past fifteen months, in particular, have brought him to greater prominence – Irish Examiner named him a ‘breakout star of the pandemic’ with his ‘calm and straightforward reporting’ and legions of followers on social media agree. Prior to joining Virgin Media in 2018, he spent five years as a reporter with Newstalk FM.
Based on a wealth of original research and over a hundred interviews with cabinet members, public health officials, frontline workers, and ordinary people on whom the crisis exacted a personal toll, ‘A State of Emergency’ is the incendiary untold story of Ireland’s response to the biggest public health emergency of the past century.
Ranging from the halls of Government Buildings, where conflict between the new Cabinet and its public health advisors threatened to derail the official response, to the frontlines of the containment effort itself, where doctors, nurses, and the communities they served found themselves pushed to breaking point, ‘A State of Emergency’ is a landmark work of journalism and a riveting insider account of the struggle to bring Ireland back from the brink.
Richard Chambers says: ‘This past year has changed all of our lives. The opportunity to try to give people a new understanding of what happened in Ireland's Coronavirus crisis is a very exciting one. I hope ‘A State of Emergency’ will serve as something of a living history of the pandemic in Ireland - from the tense meetings, the crucial decisions and the moments the State's response came close to breaking point. It's a privilege to be in a position to share the experiences of our health workers who battled fatigue, PPE shortages and devastating surges to save as many lives as possible. Most of all, I'm forever grateful to the families of loved ones whose lives were lost to the virus for allowing their stories to be told and their memories to be shared.’
Conor Nagle says: ‘Richard’s coverage of the pandemic has been extraordinary, and ‘A State of Emergency’ reflects so many of the qualities that have defined his work over the past fifteen months: incredible access and scrupulous attention to detail, a knack for breaking new ground and drawing fresh insight from interviewees, and – most importantly – an ability to transport his audience to the centre of historic events. ‘A State of Emergency’ is an ‘important’ work, but it’s also a riveting read.’
We can’t wait to get our hands on a copy! Pre-order here!