Annual Lecture 2022: Emergency Powers and the Executive: Reflections on the Past and a Vision for the Future - Remarks by Jack Horgan-Jones and Hugh O’Connell

Pagespp 183 - 188
Published date12 July 2022
Date12 July 2022
183
ANNUAL LECTURE 2022:
EMERGENCY POWERS AND THE
EXECUTIVE: REFLECTIONS ON THE PAST
AND A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Remarks by
JACK HORGANJONES AND HUGH O’CONNELL*
Jack Horgan-Jones**
Around this time last year, myself and Hugh decided there was likely a book in
COVID-19. e reason we thought this is because COVID-19 had taken over
our professional lives but also to a large extent our personal lives so we thought,
why not heap misery upon misery and write a book on top of doing our day jobs.
It is not surprising that COVID-19 gave rise to the opportunity to write a book
because it was a kind of all-encompassing, society-consuming challenge that arrived
into the State with very little warning.
When we made the decision to write the book, we ploughed through our contact
books, we peppered people with requests, we annoyed them, we threatened them
in some instances, to sit down with us, and we ended up interviewing scores of
people. e last headcount before we stopped counting was somewhere between
90 and 100 people, all of whom were centrally involved in the pandemic. We had
an archive of people that we interviewed, many of whom generously sat with us for
hours and discussed the evolution of the policy response to the pandemic. On top
of that we assembled a trove of thousands of pages of documents, some of which
were passed to us by sources, some of which we obtained under the Freedom of
Information Act 2014 and, most of which, if not all of which, were previously
unpublished.
* Authors of Pandemonium: Power, Politics and Ireland’s Pandemic (Gill Books 2022). Any views or
opinions expressed in this piece are the personal views and opinions of the authors.
** Jack Horgan-Jones is a political reporter with e Irish Times, where he has worked since 2019.
He has covered politics, business, news and current aairs for the paper and before that, with e
Sunday Business Post and eJournal.ie, and for e Economist Intelligence Unit. He covered the
pandemic on a daily basis for e Irish Times and was part of a team nominated for a Newsbrands
Ireland award for coverage of nursing homes and Covid-19 in 2020. He was named Newsbrands
business journalist of the year in 2017. Pandemonium is his rst book. Any views or opinions
expressed in this piece are the personal views and opinions of the speaker.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT