Dr Tony Holohan has made the entire country feel reassured, informed and protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The work he has carried out as Chief Medical Officer has been second to none. He worked tirelessly to ensure our nation was protected and educated about this horrid virus, and all the while he was dealing with his own personal heartache.
Yesterday evening, Dr Holohan revealed that he will be stepping back from his role and work as CMO after his wife Emer was admitted to palliative care last weekend.
He stated, “From today, I will be taking time out from all of my work commitments to be with my family. My wife, Emer, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, in 2012. She has had a number of difficult years with her disease and was admitted for palliative care last Saturday.”
“I now want to give my energy, attention and all of my time to Emer and to our two teenage children, Clodagh and Ronan. I have spoken with the Taoiseach, Minister for Health and other colleagues about this, and they have all kindly offered their support and best wishes to both of us,” he added.
Tributes have been pouring in after Dr Holohan revealed his harrowing personal news. Former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar commented, “Thank you Tony. For months everyone in Ireland has felt safe because you were looking after our families. As you step back, know that all of us stand behind you and your wonderful family. We’ll meet again soon.”
Simon Harris added, “Tony Holohan is a patriot, an incredible public servant & a doctor who has saved thousands of lives through his leadership. He has kept us safe. I valued his counsel as Minister so much. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us. We think of them & respect their privacy.”
“The thoughts and best wishes of everyone in the HSE are with Dr Tony Holohan @CMOIreland, his wife and family as they deal with very personal circumstances. We will be there to offer our support, however we can,” Paul Reid wrote.
We all owe Dr Tony Holohan so much. One of the best ways we can honour him and the incredible work he has done is to follow the guidelines he has issued as we continue to fight this virus.