‘Cabal of civil servants running the show’ – Kilkenny TD’s anger over Holohan debacle
Outspoken Kilkenny TD John McGuinness has hit out at ‘a cabal of civil servants who are running the show’ after the dramatic resignation of Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
Dr Holohan resigned in the wake of the controversy over his proposed secondment to Trinity College Dublin, where he was due to head up a position as pofessor in public health and strategy. In the role, the former CEO would have advised on how the country could plan for a future pandemic.
But following days of controversy during which it emerged Dr Holohan’s €187,000 salary would continue to be paid by the Department of Health, the CMO yesterday confirmed he was quitting public service.
He said in a statement: “I wish to avoid any further unnecessary distraction that this has caused to our senior politicians and civil servants.
“My strong belief is that this was a significant opportunity to work with the university sector to develop much-needed public health capacity and leadership for the future.
“In this regard, I would like to thank Trinity College and the Provost for their foresight and support in establishing this role.
“Following my departure, I look forward to sharing my knowledge and expertise outside of the public service.”
Local Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinesss criticised Health Minister and Department of Health Secretary General Robert Watt for their handling of the debacle.
The Kilkenny TD said: “All of this has added to public concern that a culture of impunity applies at the top where, be it Zappone-gate or champagne-gate or whatever a cabal of civil servants are running the show and politicians and the people are mere extras.”