Tony Holohan Defends Trinity College Appointment of €187,000 Saying ‘Returning to CMO Role is Not His Intent’

dr Holohan has revealed his “fingerprints” were all over the creation of this new €187,000 Trinity appointment as he confirmed he will not be stepping down as chief medical officer and will vacate the role.

r Holohan, who is due to take up a position as a professor at Trinity College in July, was in a private session before the Oireachtas Health Committee today.

He also confirmed that Secretary General Robert Watt signed the agreement whereby Dr. Holohan will continue to be employed by the Department of Health, which will pay his €187,000 salary, although he will work at Trinity College.

Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane, a member of the committee, said that the fact that Dr. Holohan is not stepping down as chief medical officer, but the assignment is not meaningful.”

Tony Holohan has said he has no intention of returning to his role as chief medical officer and that his secondment to Trinity College Dublin is to “develop the public health capacity for the future”.

It adds another complicated twist to the controversy.

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It comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it would be “far preferable” if the “full details” of the new role of the outgoing chief medical officer at Trinity College were made public.

Mr Varadkar told the Dáil that Public Expenditure Secretary Michael McGrath was “not satisfied” with the way the roll was being handled and was in contact with the Department of Health on this matter.

It comes amid days of controversy over Dr. Holohan’s new role at Trinity College after reported he would be seconded from the Department of Health on a salary of €187,000.

“I think we will all recognize that it would have been far preferable if all the details surrounding the secondment had been made public from the outset and I think that should have been done,” Mr Varadkar told the Dáil .

“I know Secretary McGrath, Secretary of Public Expenditure, is not happy with how this has been done and he is currently working with the Department of Health.”

He said his comments weren’t meant to discredit the “outstanding official” Dr. to “defame” Holohan, but that it is “important to follow procedures.”

“Secretary McGrath is following it,” he added.

In his first comments today on the controversy surrounding his new academic role, Dr. Holohan previously told the Oireachtas Health Committee: “My secondment to Trinity College Dublin means that I have agreed to step down from my role as Chief Medical Officer; It is not my intention to return to this role at any time in the future. It is important that my successor feels fully empowered and empowered to take on the role as he sees fit.”

The Health Ministry is set to continue funding his current €187,000 civil service salary while he takes on a newly created role at Trinity, a move that has only surfaced in recent days and has raised questions from ministers and the opposition.

dr Holohan is appearing before the committee in a private session to provide the latest public health advice on Covid-19.

However, his statement before the committee addresses the controversy surrounding his move into academia.

In his pre-filed statement, the outgoing CMO said: “The Department of Health is committed to developing the public health capacity for the future. While Ireland has performed well in many aspects of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is room for our capacity to develop in this regard.

“The third tier sector will play a key role in providing thought leadership, critical analysis, research and the development of knowledge and skills to better support public health leadership, policy making and public health practice .

“To nurture this potential I am accepting the Professorship of Public Health Strategy & Leadership at Trinity College Dublin.

“In particular, the department intends that I lead the development and activities of inter-agency collaboration between universities and the health sector and build stronger links with WHO and EU agencies.”

Meanwhile, Independent TD in Clare’s Michael McNamara in the Dáil drew comparisons between former Minister Katherine Zappone’s botched appointment to a €14,000 envoy position last year and the new role of Dr. holohan.

“There is a similar lack of transparency and openness in the use of taxpayers’ money. The only difference I can see between the two is that Dr. Holohan, if it goes ahead, will cost the Treasury 14 times that,” Mr McNamara said.

“The Secretary of Health seems to be a passenger of what is happening in his own department,” he said.

This comes after an unprecedented intervention by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl at the start of the Dáil session after Independent TD Mattie McGrath reviewed the skills of Dr. had questioned Holohan for the role on TCD.

Mr McGrath accused the government of “punishing and punishing the people” over the high cost of living and said the government was using funds from the ESB to help Dr. Funding Holohan’s TCD role, which he is “probably not fit for.”

“We should use the undisputed capacity and skills of Dr. Don’t question Tony Holohan

“Let us not spread slander,” said the Ceann Comhairle.

“Thanks for the advice, but I’ll question it,” Mr. McGrath retorted.

*This article has been updated to indicate that Dr. Holohan will not resign from his post on 7/4/22 at 2:16 p.m. Tony Holohan Defends Trinity College Appointment of €187,000 Saying ‘Returning to CMO Role is Not His Intent’

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