Mattie McGrath apologises for comments made about Dr Tony Holohan's absence 11 months ago

Mattie McGrath apologises for comments made about Dr Tony Holohan's absence

"I want to apologise to his wife and family for any hurt caused."

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has apologised for any hurt and pain he caused Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and his family for comments he made outside the Dáil on Tuesday.

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Speaking to reporters outside Leinster House about NPHET's proposals, McGrath said Dr Holohan was “riding back in like John Wayne with his six guns, swinging around like he’s going to close down the whole country”.

He then asked where Dr Holohan has been the last few months, which potentially was a misspeak as he had previously referenced the fact that Dr Holohan had been caring for his sick wife.

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Dr Holohan stepped away from his role as CMO temporarily in July to spend more time with his family before returning to the position on Monday, 5 October.

Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday after his comments outside, McGrath said he wanted to apologise to Dr Holohan and his family.

"I did make comments earlier about Dr Holohan and asked where he'd been for the last number of months," McGrath said.

"I understand totally where he's been looking after his sick wife and I want to profoundly apologise if I've caused any offence."

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He added: "I want to apologise to his wife and family for any hurt caused."