Today, Dr Tony Holohan was announced as the newly appointed Professor of Public Health Strategy and Leadership at Trinity. The former Chief Medical Officer will take up the new role on July 1.
The announcement was made by Provost Linda Doyle, and the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly.
In a press release, Minister Donnelly noted the “significant and lasting impact on health in Ireland” that Holohon has made since his appointment as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in December 2008.
Previously, Holohan served as Deputy CMO from 2001 to 2008.
Donnelly added that Holohan “has used his public health leadership ability, alongside his many other skills and insights, to inform and influence decisions at the highest level in order to protect public health”.
“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”, Donnelly concluded.
The Provost said that she is “excited” to see Holohan working “with other academic colleagues in [College] to learn the lessons of Covid and prepare for these future challenges”.
“Trinity is here to make things better and the university has a long tradition of working with health services in this area”, Doyle continued.
“Dr Holohan has become a household name for his service to the country over the past two years but there is plenty that still needs to be done to protect Ireland from future pandemics.”
Doyle added that Holohan “will not be attached to a single School or Discipline” within College.
“Instead, his role will traverse the Faculties of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences and Health Sciences, recognising the complexity and scope of population health challenges in the modern era.”
Reflecting on his term as CMO for nearly 14 years, Dr Tony Holohan said: “It has been a great privilege… 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”, he added.
Concerning his new role at College, Holohan said he is “very excited by this new opportunity” and is eager to work with the Provost and other academic staff “to continue to contribute to improving public health policy, practice and outcomes”.
“I look forward to using my experience, knowledge and skills to enable Trinity College Dublin to make a leading contribution to strengthening the knowledge and practice of public health leadership in Ireland.”
Holohan stated that a strong focus on public health protection and preparedness for health emergencies is required “now more than ever”.
“I will seek to use this opportunity to deepen relationships and collaborations including with other universities and agencies, with the [World Health Organisation (WHO)] and the various agencies of the [European Union (EU)].”
“So much has happened in public health in recent years – together we have much to learn and much to gain”, he concluded.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin thanked Holohan on Twitter for his “outstanding service to the Irish people, during the pandemic, and over 21 years in the CMO office” and wished him “every success” in his new role at College.
“Your dedication, and steadfast advice was crucial to Ireland’s response, and saved lives”, the Taoiseach added.
Dr Holohan studied Medicine at University College Dublin (UCD) and graduated in 1991. He subsequently gained a Master’s in Public Health from UCD in 1996.