Dr Tony Holohan conferred with Freedom of the City of Dublin

State’s chief medical officer accepts award on behalf of all healthcare workers

Dr Tony Holohan, the State's chief medical officer, has been conferred with the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin.

The conferral ceremony took place in the Oak Room of the Mansion House, Dawson Street, on Wednesday with just Dr Holohan’s family present.

Dublin City councillors unanimously passed a resolution last year proposing Dr Holohan receive the freedom of the city to acknowledge his work, and that of his team of health workers in Ireland, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was agreed at that meeting that the conferral would be made in private. Dr Holohan accepted the conferral on behalf of all health workers.


Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said Dr Holohan and the State's healthcare workers were owed an "enormous debt".

“In conferring on Dr Holohan, and through him our healthcare workers, the Honorary Freedom of the City of Dublin, we recognise the immense effort and tireless work carried out by all our healthcare staff and we want to, through this award, say a big thank you for their efforts and sacrifices,” she said.

“It has been an extremely difficult 16 months and we owe our public health workers and frontline staff an enormous debt.”

Dr Holohan signed the Roll of Honorary Freedom and thanked the members of Dublin City Council.

The freedom of the city has previously been conferred on 82 people. The first recipient was Isaac Butt in 1876. The most recent recipient was Jim Gavin, former manager of the Dublin men’s senior football team.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter