UCD appoint Dr Tony Holohan to adjunct professor role

The former Chief Medical Officer will take up the position on a “pro bono basis”

University College Dublin (UCD) has announced the appointment of former Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan to the role of adjunct professor.

Dr Holohan, who officially resigned from his position as CMO last Friday after 14 years, will become an adjunct full professor at UCD’s College of Health and Agricultural Sciences. The position will be unpaid.

A UCD alumnus and medicine graduate, Dr Holohan became Ireland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer in 2001, before being elevated to Chief Medical Officer in 2008.

Dr Holohan was CMO throughout Ireland’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and was prominent in the drawing up of public health measures designed to stem the spread of the virus.

He is succeeded in the role of CMO by Professor Breda Smyth, who now serves on an interim basis.

In a tweet yesterday, the former CMO said that he was “delighted” to be appointed to the position and that he had “great plans to bring value to the role”.

News of the appointment was welcomed by Professor Cecily Kelleher, Principal of the College of Health and Agricultural Sciences at UCD.

“I welcome Dr Tony Holohan to his new role and am delighted that a figure of his calibre and standing will be contributing to our research and educational programmes.”

“I trust the collaborations he will forge will have a positive impact on public health policy into the future. I greatly look forward to working with him,” Kelleher concluded.

Dr Holohan had previously been expected to take up a position at Trinity upon his retirement as CMO. In March, Provost Linda Doyle and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly announced the appointment of Dr Holohan as Professor for Public Health Strategy and Leadership.

Controversy emerged when it was revealed that the Department of Health would continue to pay Dr Holohan his annual €187,000 salary whilst on secondment at Trinity. Following widespread criticism from opposition parties and an intervention from Taoiseach Micheál Martin, who called for the secondment to be reassessed, Dr Holohan announced that he would not take up the proposed position.

Responding at the time to Dr Holohan’s decision, Provost Linda Doyle said that it was “a huge loss for Ireland’s education sector, and for all the students who would have learned so much from Dr Holohan’s experience”.

Trinity’s College Board later voted not to launch an internal inquiry into the handling of the secondment proposal.