Sunday 20 October 2019

Chernobyl campaigner Adi delighted with triple Emmy wins for series

Adi Roche with victim Krystina Nikit Sionak (18). Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
Adi Roche with victim Krystina Nikit Sionak (18). Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Ralph Riegel and Melanie Finn

Irish charity founder Adi Roche has hailed the cast and crew of the television series 'Chernobyl' after it scooped a trio of Emmy accolades.

The five-part series, based on the April 1986 disaster, won the prize for Outstanding Limited Series, one of the most prestigious Emmys on offer at the glittering California event on Sunday night.

Johan Renck won the Emmy for Directing for a Limited Series and Craig Mazin was honoured for Best Writing for a Limited Series.

Clonmel-born Ms Roche has been campaigning for more than 30 years for justice and support for the victims of the nuclear plant tragedy, and founded Chernobyl Children International (CCI) in 1991.

She was consulted by the HBO-Sky Atlantic production team during pre-planning for the series in 2018.

Ms Roche said yesterday she was "delighted and thrilled" with the success of the series.

Irish connection: Lauded actress Jessie Buckley starred in ‘Chernobyl’
Irish connection: Lauded actress Jessie Buckley starred in ‘Chernobyl’

She said: "I am so grateful that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognised the 'Chernobyl' series.

"It articulated the truth about the 1986 disaster like never before and not only shared the voices of so many of Chernobyl's hardest hit victims, but validated their stories which for so long had been forgotten or dismissed."

One of the stars of the series was Kerry-born Jessie Buckley, who is now being tipped as a rising star in the entertainment industry in the US.

Ms Buckley said her conversations with Adi Roche and CCI helped "prepare for and fully immerse herself in her role in the film".

She played the challenging role of Lyudmilla Ignatenko, whose firefighter husband Vasily was one of the 700,000 so-called 'liquidators' ordered into the Chernobyl plant to try to contain the catastrophic nuclear explosion.

"She (Adi) was so incredibly generous with her time. I don't think I've ever met anybody with that unique empathy that she has," said Ms Buckley.

"And the work that she has continued to do to help the victims of Chernobyl has been inspiring."

Other big winners on the night included 'Fleabag'. Creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge won best Lead Actress and Best Writer in a Comedy while Harry Bradbeer got Best Director. The series, featuring Irishman Andrew Scott as the 'hot priest', also claimed the gong for Best Comedy.

Irish Independent

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