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Summary

The incendiary untold story of Ireland’s response to the most significant public health emergency of the past century, woven from a wealth of original research and dozens of interviews with ministers, politicians, public health experts, essential workers and ordinary people on whom the crisis exacted a personal toll.

Ranging from the halls of government buildings, where a new cabinet riven by personal acrimony found itself beset by a series of unprecedented crises, to the frontlines of the containment effort itself, where medical practitioners and the communities they serve were pushed to breaking point, A State of Emergency is a landmark work of investigative journalism and the defining account of an extraordinary time in Irish history.

©2021 Richard Chambers (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Absolutely riveting." (Marian Keyes)

"The last thing I thought I would want to read at the end of 2021 was a book about Covid-19...I was wrong. At times it reads like a thriller with larger-than-life characters we all think we know, who are all just human in the end." (Rick O’Shea)

"An absolutely fascinating read." (Claire Byrne)

What listeners say about A State of Emergency

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Gripping listen

Richard has done a great job on writing a book that we may at first think we know it all already.
The way the story is put together is flawless along with Richards reading of the audiobook.
Richard may have another job waiting for him once other authors realize what a great reader he is!

4 people found this helpful

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Inclusive honest and moving account

I should probably not have read this while actually COVID positive. Luckily I'm vaccinated and caught a milder variant. I'd forgotten how scary and traumatic march 2020 was. A brilliant listen. thank you.

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Very good and very bad.

The behind-the-scenes insights into the political sphere are fascinating.
However, the stories of doctor and nurses during the pandemic, essentially doing their jobs, is mawkish in the extreme.
You’re a healthcare worker. There is a public health pandemic. GET OVER IT.

If someone came along and made a list of the good chapters, and made a list of the mawkish chapters, this could be a 5-star book. Alas, I won’t be doing it… once was enough. I craved the end of this book more than I craved the pandemic.

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Solid 4 stars

I enjoyed this. I work in the HSE but not one of the heros. I especially enjoyed hearing about the personalities like Reid, Holohan.

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Part 2 on its way!

Political struggles behind the headlines. How could Taoiseach appoint AND keep such an incompetent Minister for Health.

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Fly on the wall perspective

listened to it twice, also bought a copy for my nephew. excellent, engaging, well paced

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wow

unbelievable insight to whole pandemic in Ireland, great to listen to behind the scenes from the government

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A phenomenal and touching story

Chambers insights and summations paints a new and stark perspective for the way Ireland (mis)managed the pandemic. The personal stories of those affected drive it home.

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Gripped from start to finish

Superbly written, describing with such empathy how so many have suffered so much during the pandemic. Incredible how much I had forgotten so soon but was retold incredibly well

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Must read

I really enjoyed this. So informative and well balanced. An emotional read which really shows you how so many people gave so very much to save others during the pandemic.

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  • Eimear K.
  • 03-01-22

Gripping read.

I devoured this book in two days. Although our Covid journey is well documented, this book gives a completely different and comprehensive perspective. The interviews with our healthcare workers were a tough listen and really emotional. As a seasoned nurse (no longer working clinically) I really appreciate you shining a light on this. Couldn’t recommend this book highly enough.