Starting in May 2021 I will be writing a number of observations- News, Current Affairs and Sport.

Feel free to comment any time or contact me

3rd May 2021


Prior to March 2020 I would not have watched much TV apart from News and Sports programmes. When you are working it’s a totally different scenario. However on the 13th March 2020 the rug was pulled in terms of employment and time on my hands became far more plentiful.
In addition to watching sports and news programmes and doing all the other things that I tried to do to keep sane in the covid chaos I started to watch more TV. Indeed a lot of what was on was rubbish but in the company of my wife I watched the entire series of ‘The Crown’. It may not be for everyone but it was well written and well made and we enjoyed looking at many of the historical events that have happened in our lifetime.
But last week while flicking through the channels I came across a programme simply entitled ‘Cherbobyl’. I had read in some newspaper that it was 35 years since the disaster there and I decided to watch to see what it was like.

It turns out that the programme was a five part series about the events in 1986. Each programme was about an hour and a half and it was a truly stunning production based on the actual events that happened at the nuclear power plant. It was as fine a programme as I have ever seen on TV and I was glued to it every night it was on.
The short cuts in terms of safety taken by the authorities were to blame for the accident. But the cover ups, the denials, the corruption, and the delay in dealing with the disaster was such an eye-opener. Needless to say it was the ordinary people, workers, local people, poor farmers and the elderly who suffered in the most terrible way. It is always the ordinary people who suffer when something like this happens.
At the end of the day it took the suicide of scientist Valery Legasov to highlight what actually happened. When he passed away his accounts of what happened reached the wider community. Those accounts were suppressed and hidden while he was alive.
It shows what can happen if the state has too much control of people’s lives. It could have happened in any country but in this case it happened in Russia. It was very clear that it was the state that mattered most and the welfare of it’s people was well down the priority list. The amount of suffering experienced by the ordinary people especially in the close vicinity to the power plant was truly shocking. As we know the effects of what happened in Chernobyl are being felt today 35 years later.
On reading about the programme afterwards I learned that it had received no less than 19 Emmy award nominations and it has won many awards around the World which is certainly no surprise.
I hope that maybe RTE could show the series at some point in the future. It deserves a big audience. Watch it if you get a chance.