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Tributes paid as wife of Republic's Chief Medical Officer dies after long illness


Dr Emer Holohan

Dr Emer Holohan

Dr Emer Holohan

The wife of Ireland’s chief medical officer, Dr Tony Holohan, has died after a long illness.

Dr Emer Holohan (nee Feely) had been living with a terminal form of blood cancer since 2012.

Dr Holohan took time off work last summer after she entered palliative care in early July.

Dr Feely was a specialist in public health medicine and a medical graduate of UCD.

She died at Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, in the company of her husband and children.

Her children are Clodagh and Ronan.

Her funeral will take place at St Pius X Church on Monday.

Her death notice said that she died peacefully on Friday at the hospice in the company of her husband and children.

It added: “Emer will be forever remembered by the Holohan and Feely families and her wide circle of dear friends.”

Her request is for family flowers only and donations if desired to Terenure College 6th year Gofundme campaign in aid of The Irish Cancer Society and Our Lady’s Hospice.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said his thoughts were with the family.

“Dr Emer Holohan made a significant contribution to the health service, including her work on the Health Strategy when I was Minister for Health.

“Tony and his entire family have given so much to this country since the start of the pandemic.

“At this time, I would ask for as much space and privacy to be given to them as possible.”

Dr Holohan has been the public face of the State’s response to the unprecedented public health emergency.

More than 4,000 people have died with Covid-19.

Stormont health minister Robin Swann said: “This is tragic news this evening and I want to send my deepest sympathies to Dr Holohan, his children Clodagh and Ronan, and the entire family circle at this terrible time.

“I know there will be tremendous support and compassion for them from everyone in Northern Ireland.”

Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer, Dr Michael McBride, said he was deeply saddened.

“I have worked very closely with Tony and his colleagues for many years and particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have greatly admired his fortitude, leadership and dedication to his duties while supporting Emer throughout her illness,” he said.