great comfort | 

Dr Tony Holohan thanks public for ‘great kindness’ after wife's tragic death

Dr Emer Holohan was diagnosed with the blood cancer multiple myeloma in 2012
Ryan Nugent

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has paid a moving tribute to his late wife Emer ahead of what would have been her birthday on Monday.

In a family notice, Dr Holohan and his family said they were “humbled” by the support received following her passing earlier this year.

Dr Holohan has been the public face of the National Public Health Emergency Team, advising the Government on public health measures.

Dr Emer Holohan was diagnosed with the blood cancer multiple myeloma in 2012 and had been terminally ill for some time.

She was an expert in public health medicine.

“We were humbled and greatly comforted by the extraordinary number of messages of condolence, Mass cards, sympathy cards, letters and flowers that we received. This notice is to sincerely acknowledge this generosity of spirit from so many people, many of whom communicated with us anonymously,” the notice, published in the Irish Times read.

“She was cared for expertly and compassionately by Prof. Paul Browne and Dr Norma O'Leary, both of whom will forever have a special place in our hearts. The many doctors, nurses and other staff who cared for Emer in St James’s Hospital and Our Lady's Hospice in Harold’s Cross also did everything possible to make a difficult and painful journey more bearable.”

“Covid placed many constraints on how we could mourn Emer’s death and celebrate her life. We thank everyone for observing with respect and sensitivity the public health restrictions that applied to her funeral, and thank Fr Gerry Moore and the funeral ministry team at St Pius X Church, Templeogue, for their great care.”

The personal notice also paid tribute to the students of Terenure College who performed a guard of honour at the funeral and who also raised €80,000 for the Irish Cancer Society and Our Lady's Hospice in Harold’s Cross.

"What comes through so clearly in all the messages from those who knew Emer is her warmth, her kindness and her razor-sharp wit. Keep her in your hearts and prayers, remember her often and smile for the sunshine she brought,” the notice added.

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