Secondment of Dr Tony Holohan to Trinity College has to be paused, says Taoiseach 2 months ago

Secondment of Dr Tony Holohan to Trinity College has to be paused, says Taoiseach

"There has to be transparency."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the secondment of Dr Tony Holohan to a research role in Trinity College has to be paused until he receives a report on the matter on Monday.

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Speaking in Helsinki on Friday, the Taoiseach said there had to be greater transparency around the research role and this element of it must be teased out.

"There has to be transparency, there has to be good process and procedure," Martin told RTÉ.

He added: "There is a research perspective to this, there is a more medium-term perspective to this and in my view it should be paused, there should be a reassessment of how the objectives that are behind this can be realised in a better and more transparent way."

Dr Holohan announced last month that he would be stepping away from his position as CMO to take on a new role as Professor of Public Health Strategy and Leadership at TCD.

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The move raised eyebrows this week when it was revealed the Department of Health would fund the move under the same pay and conditions as his existing contract, however, speaking on Thursday, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said it was important to note that the salary would be coming from "public money", whether it is paid by the Department of Health or by Trinity College.

Speaking about the upcoming role, Dr Holohan said that the Department of Health is committed to the development of public health capacity for the future.

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Holohan stated that while Ireland has "fared well in many aspects of its response" to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is still room for improvement.

"It is to further this potential that I am taking up the Professorship of Public Health Strategy & Leadership in Trinity College Dublin," he added.

"Specifically, the Department intends me to lead the development and activities of inter-institutional collaboration between universities and the health sector and to develop stronger links with the World Health Organisation and the European Union."