operation as usual. A number of unexplained cases of hepatitis in children are on the Department of Health’s radar.
dr Tony Holohan was with his deputy Ronan Glynn, Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly and various officials in a fourth-floor briefing room in Miesian Plaza, the department’s shiny new headquarters.
A small number of cases of severe hepatitis in young children are being studied here, and the health service is trying to stay ahead of the curve.
In the UK, where the alert had come with an increase of 74 cases, some children suffered acute and rapid liver failure, with a small number even requiring a liver transplant.
It’s the kind of public health problem that was commonplace before the pandemic — and before Dr. Holohan became the country’s best-known medic.
The elephant in the room, however, was Dr. Holohan’s own future at stake.
The Chief Medical Officer’s planned move to Trinity College Dublin was due to take place on July 1st. But this morning, the Taoiseach gave up the kibosh, saying the deputation must be “paused” pending a report from the Ministry of Health. General Robert Watts.
Just 72 hours earlier that Irish Independent The front page announced that Dr. Holohan would continue to receive his €187,000 salary from the Department of Health even if he resigned to join Trinity.
The revelation sparked a series of uncomfortable questions about the deputation.
dr Holohan became the latest character to be sacrificed by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, joining an elite group along with cabinet ministers and a European commissioner. No one seems safe when the political heat hits the Taoiseach.
The following afternoon, at exactly 3:03 p.m. on Saturday, Dr. Holohan walk to break the Taoiseach’s strategic leadership decision to end his role as professor of public health leadership and strategy.
“I don’t want the controversy of the last few days to continue,” he said.
“In particular, I wish to avoid any further unnecessary distraction this has caused among our senior politicians and officials.”
The consequences remain, and many wonder how a seemingly good idea turned into a shambles.
The Taoiseach had led the charge, Dr. To wish Holohan well on his appointment and to thank him “for your outstanding service to the Irish people during the pandemic and over 21 years in the CMO office”.
At an EU summit in Brussels, Mr Martin was ebullient, pointing out that he was with Dr. Holohan worked together as Minister of Health. “Your dedication and unwavering advice were instrumental in Ireland’s response and saved lives,” he said.
At a time of international crisis with a pandemic and domestic uncertainty with an interim government, Dr. Holohan has become a national figure – a hero in the eyes of many.
He then went through the pain of losing his wife, Dr. Emer Feely, who died after a long illness. dr Holohan had taken the time to help tend to her.
Despite the association with lockdowns, his public record has been high as he has moved beyond politics. But that masked tensions within the political and healthcare systems.
“He seemed at times to think he was running the whole show – the government, the Department of Health, the HSE,” noted a senior source.
“To be fair, he’s capable. It would be a lot worse if you were dealing with a Gob****e. He’s not – he’s competent and seems motivated to do the right thing.
“But it was difficult knowing his limitations and maintaining relationships with those he had to work with.
“The deafness of his role and a touch of arrogance didn’t do him any good. It led to a sense of entitlement.”
After those two years at the heart of the crisis, and with subsequent government investigations into how to handle the response, Dr. Holohan before his departure.
“It’s not his first rodeo. He’s been down this path before with the weekly meeting of the committees. And he would be aware of his legacy,” a source said.
Instead of going back to the day job and publishing an annual report on the nation’s public health — which makes valuable recommendations for reducing smoking but quickly gathers dust — he’s pushed his move into academia.
The government side was happy to comply – too happy. Then everything dissolved.
Like many senior figures in the public sector, Dr. Holohan bringing his terms and conditions with him as he walked out the door and collected his salary and pension.
The lack of transparency and procedures surrounding the funding aspects surprised everyone.
The Watt report was sobering reading for everyone involved. dr Holohan has been in talks with Mr Watt and Secretary-General Martin Fraser “about his future work plans” since last August.
What turned out to be the Trinity role was where the government guaranteed the college €2 million in research funding to help Dr. To pay for Holohan’s new professorship along with the research to be conducted.
Now you have the feeling that everything is out of control and that both the collusion and the allegations have gone too far.
“After all, what were David Cullinane and Róisín Shortall upset about? The role, the salary, the leadership? The posting and funding should have been mentioned from the start,” a health source said. “That was a mistake. But it would be a shame if he left now. His DNA is public service. Maybe that has to wear off.”
But it is clear within the government that further investigation is now needed.
“It was best for everyone involved that an independent assessment be conducted. It stops howling when the Dáil is back,” another source said.
dr Holohan had enough political capital to secure its intended legacy project, but when the test came, all bets were off.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/inside-the-bizarre-sacrificing-of-dr-tony-holohan-as-entitlement-and-legacy-collided-41558079.html In the bizarre sacrifice of Dr. Tony Holohan’s claims and legacy clashed