Dr Tony Holohan to step down from role as chief medical officer

The former chair of Nphet will take up a new position with Trinity College Dublin on July 1

Hugh O'Connell

DR TONY Holohan is to step down from his position as chief medical officer, it has been confirmed today.

Dr Holohan chaired the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), which responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and advised on Government policy.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Professor Linda Doyle, Provost of Trinity College Dublin (TCD), announced in a statement that Dr Holohan has been appointed Professor of Public Health Strategy and Leadership at TCD.

He will take up the role on July 1.

Having become a national figure over the past two years, Dr Holohan recommended Nphet be stood down in a letter to Minister Donnelly last month. He advised that a new structure be put in place to provide advice to the Government on pandemic policy.

The Indo Daily: Subvariant swell: Why it's never been easier to get Covid

Listen on Apple
Podcasts Listen on

This new body has yet to be constituted.

“It has been a great privilege for me to serve as Chief Medical Officer and to have had an opportunity to be directly involved in issues of great importance and relevance to the health of the people of Ireland,” Dr Holohan said.

“In particular, these past two years have presented extreme challenges to public health globally and I have been honoured to work alongside exceptional colleagues in the Department of Health, the HSE, the wider health service and across Government.

"During this time, I have witnessed the dedication of colleagues to protecting the health and wellbeing of people across Ireland.

“I am very excited by this new opportunity, and I look forward with energy and enthusiasm to working with the Provost of Trinity College Dublin and her team, and through this to continue to contribute to improving public health policy, practice and outcomes,” he added.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin praised Dr Holohan’s work during the pandemic, which he said “helped save lives”.

"His steadfast assured advice, and willingness to communicate over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly helped save lives, and kept Ireland safe during an exceptionally challenging two years,” the Taoiseach said.

“I have known Tony, and had the privilege to work with him, since he was appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer in 2001, and then during his 14 years as the Chief Medical Officer.

“His work chairing Nphet, his professionalism, and calm and personable nature gave us all the assurance we needed during the pandemic,” he added.

Health Minister Donnelly thanked Dr Holohan for his work during his time in the role, which he first took up in 2008.

"Throughout his time as CMO, Dr Tony has used his public health leadership ability, alongside his many other skills and insights, to inform and influence decisions at the highest level in order to protect public health,” he said.

“Throughout the pandemic his invaluable advice to me and to the Government has shaped our response to Covid-19, and I witnessed first-hand his unwavering dedication to protecting the health of the people of Ireland.

"He will play a critical role in applying his knowledge and skills to the development of the next generation of thinking and practice in public health, and I wish Tony all the best in this new and exciting chapter in his career.”

The Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Professor Linda Doyle, said: “Trinity is here to make things better and the university has a long tradition of working with health services in this area. Dr Holohan has become a household name for his service to the country over the past two years, but there is plenty that still needs to be done to protect Ireland from future pandemics.

"We're excited that he will be working with other academic colleagues in Trinity to learn the lessons of Covid and prepare for these future challenges.

“Dr Holohan will not be attached to a single school or discipline within Trinity. Instead, his role will traverse the Faculties of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences and Health Sciences, recognising the complexity and scope of population health challenges in the modern era.”

Today's Headlines

More News

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos