7 episodes

This six part podcast series contains the unheard tapes from the Virgin Media News Documentary Team. These episodes come from hours of footage taken during the making of a documentary by reporter Zara King who looked at COVID-19 in Ireland, hearing the thoughts of the key decision makers who sat in Room 631 at the Department of Health, and the voices of the people whose lives were changed by those decisions, as a global crisis unfolded in their own homes.

Room 631 Virgin Media Originals

    • Politics

This six part podcast series contains the unheard tapes from the Virgin Media News Documentary Team. These episodes come from hours of footage taken during the making of a documentary by reporter Zara King who looked at COVID-19 in Ireland, hearing the thoughts of the key decision makers who sat in Room 631 at the Department of Health, and the voices of the people whose lives were changed by those decisions, as a global crisis unfolded in their own homes.

    Episode Four | Women in lockdown

    Episode Four | Women in lockdown

    This episode looks at the impact the pandemic has had on women’s lives, including mental health. We hear from a young mother who struggled to cope with being cut off from her support network as she tried to overcome post-natal depression. We also hear from a woman in her 70’s who says she never felt vulnerable until Government told her she was.
    Throughout this episode we speak to women working on the frontline including Deirdre Watters Director of Communications at the Department of Health and Women’s Aid helpline manager Linda Smith.
     
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    • 25 min
    Episode Two | No time to say “Goodbye”

    Episode Two | No time to say “Goodbye”

    Zara looks at grief and the changing face of how we had to say goodbye. She speaks to the loved ones of Frances Byrne who died with Covid, the photo of his brother Padraig peering in the window of St Luke’s Hospital saying goodbye went viral during the first lockdown. We also hear from an undertaker who gives an insight into working on the frontline dealing with death in a way he never had before. 
     
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    • 30 min
    Episode Five | Paul Reid HSE Chief Executive

    Episode Five | Paul Reid HSE Chief Executive

    Full interview with HSE boss talking about many things including the devastation that unfolded in Nursing Homes, and the challenges the Health Service faced in terms of sourcing and distributing PPE. Paul Reid pays tribute to the frontline workers who lost their lives while trying to save others.
     
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    • 32 min
    Episode One | Dr Tony Holohan, CMO

    Episode One | Dr Tony Holohan, CMO

    An hour long interview with Ireland’s Chief Medical officer. Unedited insights into his thoughts and feelings through critical moments in the pandemic. 
     
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    • 45 min
    Episode Three | Simon Harris TD, former Minister for Health

    Episode Three | Simon Harris TD, former Minister for Health

    An unedited interview with former Health Minister Simon Harris, where he share personal anecdotes and stories from inside Room 631 with Zara King. 
     
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    • 34 min
    Episode Six | Gone

    Episode Six | Gone

    In this final episode in the series we sit down with the Taylor and O’Neill families to hear about Billy and Susan, both of whom died from Covid earlier this year. 
    We hear about the important lives they lived from the people who loved them most. They speak of how a global virus came into their homes and took away something precious and irreplaceable. Ireland’s only medical Virologist, Dr Cillian DeGascun explains where it’s all going, as we ask if Ireland, as a nation, can ever fully recover from this once in a lifetime crisis?
     
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    • 26 min

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