Tony Holohan to step down and take new role at Trinity College

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan, who led the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, is to step down to take up a new role at Trinity College, the Department of Health has confirmed.

Dr Holohan was appointed deputy CMO in 2001 and later became CMO, a position he held for 14 years.

He will remain chief medical officer until July.

In a statement, Dr Holohan said that it had been a “privilege” to serve as Chief Medical Officer.

“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.

“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.”

‘Outstanding and dedicated service’

Commenting on the news, Taoiseach Micheál Martin thanked Dr Holohan for two decades of “outstanding and dedicated service” to the people of Ireland.

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

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

“In parallel, Tony worked consistently to raise and transform the profile and status of public health medicine, and worked hard on creating a professional pathway to consultant status.

“I wish him and his family the very best of luck for the future, and I look forward to engaging with Tony again when he takes up his position as Professor of Public Health Strategy and Leadership at Trinity College Dublin.”

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly also praised Dr Tony Holohan’s advice during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“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.”

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Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris, who was minister for health when the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020, joined the tributes to Dr Tony Holohan.

He tweeted: “I saw first hand your steady leadership, your work ethic, your determination & the personal sacrifices you made.

“You leave health & head to higher education – I can highly recommend it!”