Tributes paid to Dr Tony Holohan as he steps back from role to care for wife 1 month ago

Tributes paid to Dr Tony Holohan as he steps back from role to care for wife

“A patriot, an incredible public servant and a doctor..."

Tributes have been paid to Dr Tony Holohan, who last night announced his intention to step away from his duties due to a personal family matter.

The Chief Medical Officer said during yesterday evening's HSE briefing that he will take time out from all of his work commitments to care for his wife.

"My wife Emer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, in 2012," said Dr Holohan.

"She has had a number of difficult years with her disease and was admitted for palliative care last Saturday, and I now want to give my energy and attention and all of my time to Emer and to our two teenage children Clodagh and Ronan."

Dr Holohan added that he hoped the country would continue to "stay vigilant, keep our social distance, and take personal responsibility for our own health."

Following his announcement, countless tributes were paid to Dr Holohan for the work he had committed to carrying out during the pandemic, while simultaneously caring for his family at home.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin paid tribute to Dr Holohan following his announcement, thanking him for "his work, his experience and briefings (that) helped people to understand the gravity of the situation facing us.

"Every home in Ireland has come to know Dr Tony Holohan. His leadership during the pandemic has given us all the confidence that the decisions being made are based on solid public health advice.

"As a country we owe him and his family a great deal of gratitude."

Former Minister for Health and new Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris called Dr Holohan a "patriot, an incredible public servant & a doctor who has saved thousands of lives through his leadership."

"He has kept us safe," he said. "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."

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar added: "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."

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said: "As Dr Holohan steps back at this difficult time for him and his family, our thoughts are with them.

"I want to acknowledge the extraordinary work he’s done helping lead Ireland’s response to Covid."