Book review: Pandemonium – An incisive account of how Ireland dealt with Covid

In an impressive feat of investigative journalism, Jack Horgan-Jones and Hugh O’Connell go behind the scenes to tell the story of how our public representatives fought hard, and sometimes against each other, to contain the nightmarish situation of the pandemic

Dr Tony Holohan: for two years, the Chief Medical Officer and his National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) had their every piece of Covid-related advice intensely scrutinised by government ministers, media pundits and an increasingly traumatised public. Picture: Collins

In the early days of Covid-19, artist Niall O’Loughlin painted a mural of Dr Tony Holohan on the side of Devitt’s pub at Dublin’s Camden Street. It depicted the Chief Medical Officer as Superman, bursting out of a telephone box and ripping open his shirt to reveal a ‘TH’ logo. “This is amazing,” an adviser said to Holohan, to which he replied, “Don’t worry – that will change.”

On this occasion, at least, Holohan’s prediction ...