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McGrath apologises over claim Dr Tony Holohan came 'riding in like John Wayne'

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has “apologised for any hurt caused” to the Chief Medical Offic...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

19.55 6 Oct 2020


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McGrath apologises over claim...

McGrath apologises over claim Dr Tony Holohan came 'riding in like John Wayne'

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

19.55 6 Oct 2020


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Independent TD Mattie McGrath has “apologised for any hurt caused” to the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan and his family.

The Tipperary TD this afternoon questioned where Dr Holohan had been for the last few months as he criticised the National Public Health Emergency Team’s (NPHET) recommendation to move the entire country to Level Five restrictions.

Dr Holohan returned to his post on Saturday after taking a number of months off to be with his wife Emer, who is receiving palliative care for terminal cancer.

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Speaking outside Leinster House this afternoon, Deputy McGrath said the Chief Medical Officer had come “riding in yesterday like John Wayne with his six guns swinging around [saying], ‘I am going to close the whole country.’”

“Was he with the WHO for the last couple of months, listening to them or where was he?” he asked.

“This is a rotten state of affairs and people are sick of it. It is costing the nation’s mental health, physical health and all the other procedures not taking place and our hospitals facing into the winter here with no accountability.

“NPHET are not elected by anybody. I respect their medical expertise and we must listen to that but there is far too many of them first of all and there is no lay person in there, there is no business person in there, there is no community person in there; above all there is nobody representing mental health in there and disabilities – so it is totally lopsided.”

The comments were criticised on social media and speaking in the Dáil later this afternoon, Deputy McGrath said he wanted to “profoundly apologise” for any offence caused.

“I did make comments earlier about Dr Holohan and asked where he had been for the last number of months,” he said.

“I understand totally where he has been, looking after his sick wife and I want to profoundly apologise if I caused any offence.

“I was asking in the context of the leak on Sunday and the whole furore. Do we have any idea the impact that is having on people’s mental and physical health?

“So, I want to apologise to his wife and family for any hurt caused.”


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