Holohan will not take up public health role in Trinity

The decision follows several days of controversy surrounding the planned secondment from the HSE

Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Tony Holohan has said he will not proceed with his secondment to Trinity.

Holohan was set to take up a role as professor of public health strategy and leadership in College on July 1.

Holohan will instead retire from his role as CMO on July 1, and a successor will be appointed in the meantime.

In a statement, Holohan said: “I do not want to see the controversy of the last few days continuing. In particular, I wish to avoid any further unnecessary distraction that this has caused to our senior politicians and civil servants.”

He continued: “My strong belief is that this was a significant opportunity to work with the university sector to develop public health capacity and leadership for the future. In this regard, I would like to thank Trinity College and the Provost for their foresight and support in establishing this role.”

He added that he looks forward to “sharing [his] knowledge and expertise outside of the public service”.

Provost Linda Doyle commented: “This is a huge loss for Ireland’s education sector, and for all the students who would have learned so much from Dr Holohan’s experience.”

Holohan’s decision follows days of controversy surrounding the nature of his appointment to the role.

It was reported during the week that the Department of Health would continue to pay Holohan’s salary of €187,000 while in his role at Trinity, a salary is €30,000 higher than other professors. This prompted criticism from government officials and opposition parties.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin yesterday called for Holohan’s secondment to be paused while the Government awaited a report on the move, saying there must be transparency around the move.

Earlier this week, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly had defended the Department of Health’s decision to continue to pay Holohan’s salary.

David Wolfe

David Wolfe is a Junior Sophister student of History and Political Science. He is the current Social Media and Managing Editor of Trinity News, having previously served as News Editor, Assistant News Editor and copyeditor.