He graduated from apprentice to heir apparent in the brief course of the pandemic, but Ronan Glynn ended his days as deputy chief medical officer yesterday.
r Glynn was the top tip for succeeding Dr. Tony Holohan, who will step down as chief medical officer (CMO) in early July.
Instead of sitting in the hot seat, Dr. Glynn to the private sector, where he will be responsible for advising corporate clients of EY on public health issues such as climate change.
Most of the public had never heard of the Galway-born, medical-turned-physiotherapist, who is in his early 40s before Covid-19 struck.
Married to RTÉ news anchor Carla O’Brien, he might have been destined to remain in the shadows and oversee vaccination and other programs had the pandemic not been in the spotlight.
dr Glynn is far more inclined to show anger at breaking Covid-19 rules than Dr. Holohan — who had more of a velvet-covered style — and will be best remembered for his months as acting CMO in the summer of 2020.
dr Holohan took time off from July to October this year to care for his wife Emer, who was terminally ill with cancer.
dr Glynn took over staying in the country and people were thankful for the €9 meal levy in some pubs post-lockdown.
But he has had to withstand constant and intense pressure to open the so-called pandemic-hit “wet pubs”, with distraught innkeepers facing the constant disappointment of the closure.
With the Covid-19 vaccines months away and the population relying on self-protection measures, the main objective was to contain the spread of the virus as much as possible to allow schools to reopen.
As chairman of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), he was forced to announce the first and only local lockdowns in Laois, Offaly and Kildare, largely prompted by meatplant outbreaks.
dr Glynn had only assumed the role of deputy CMO in 2018, so he was relatively new to the position in early 2020 when the pandemic hit.
He appeared up The Late Late Show Earlier this September, he said Covid-19 was under control at this point, but warned there was no certainty.
More than a month later, Dr. Holohan back and famously told a reluctant government that level 5 restrictions were needed.
In March of last year, Dr. Glynn, after bruising from Covid-19 in people who were upset at his call for the public to do more to fight the virus, said his comments were taken out of context.
At a previous briefing, he commended people for doing as much as they have done to reduce the number of cases. But he also added: “The message this evening has to be to ask everyone to focus on doing just a little bit more than you’ve been doing in the last week or two. Go back to where you were two weeks or three weeks ago…”
He got on well with Dr. Holohan, who said he “liked him from the start”.
So where is the country with the exodus of the pandemic duo, with the inevitable further Covid-19 waves in winter and the threat of new variants?
Questioned by the Irish Independent Yesterday, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health confirmed that the position of CMO will soon be advertised and filled through an open selection process.
However, he did not want to say how many other medical officers are now employed in the department.
Department general secretary Robert Watt has yet to prove he’s worth his nearly £300,000 salary to deliver for healthcare.
At some point, the newspaper columns he commands will have to be weighed against his accomplishments.
Life with Covid is fine and the virus is in retreat for now, but deaths and infections related to Covid-19 continue.
With the departure of Dr. Holohan and Dr. Glynn – who have left a commendable legacy overall – the focus remains on the difficult months, particularly autumn and winter.
Both men can leave with a sense of accomplishment, but the reality is that it’s now all about future direction and who takes their place.
https://www.independent.ie/news/dr-ronan-glynns-departure-uncertainty-lingers-with-no-heirs-apparent-as-double-act-exit-41637404.html dr Ronan Glynn’s departure: Uncertainty remains as no heirs are identified as a double-act departure