Tony Holohan says he will not return to role of Chief Medical Officer 7 months ago

Tony Holohan says he will not return to role of Chief Medical Officer

The outgoing CMO's appointment at Trinity College has sparked fevered debate in recent days.

Tony Holohan will not return to his current role of Chief Medical Officer once he takes up his forthcoming new post at Trinity College.

Advertisement

The acting CMO addressed his upcoming secondment during a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee on Thursday morning, 7 April.

Holohan noted that is not his intention "to return to this role at any point in the future".

Holohan's status has fast become the subject of passionate debate amongst both politicians and public since his announcement two weeks ago.

It had been speculated that Holohan would continue to be paid his full Chief Medical Officer salary of €187,000 by the Department of Health while engaging in his Trinity College duties.

Advertisement

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, meanwhile, was only made aware on Tuesday that Holohan's appointment represented a secondment from the Department of Health.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann on Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he had "no hand, act or part" in Holohan's move, refuting an accusation from Mattie McGrath that the Government was facilitating a lucrative "double jobbing" position for the CMO.

Advertisement

Speaking on Thursday morning, Holohan said that the Department of Health is committed to the development of public health capacity for the future.

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."

Advertisement

Holohan then confirmed that he will not return to his current position.

"My secondment to Trinity College means I have agreed to relinquish my role as Chief Medical Officer – it is not my intention to return to this role at any point in the future."

"It is important that my successor feels fully empowered and enabled to undertake the role as they see fit."

Featured Image via Eamon Farrell / RollingNews.ie