Dr Tony Holohan thanks public for great kindness following his wife’s death

Family were greatly comforted by extraordinary number of messages, many sent anonymously

The State's chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has thanked all those who showed his family great kindness following the death of his wife earlier this year.

He said he and his children Clodagh and Ronan and extended family “were humbled and greatly comforted by the extraordinary number of messages of condolence” received from so many people “many of whom communicated with us anonymously”.

In an acknowledgment published in The Irish Times on Saturday he notes the "generosity of spirit from so many people" following the death of his wife Dr Emer Feely on February 19th.

Dr Feely, a specialist in public health medicine and a medical graduate of UCD, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, in 2012. He thanked all the doctors, nurses and other staff who cared for her, including at St James’s Hospital and Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin.


Furthermore he expressed gratitude to students of Terenure College who raised €80,000 for the Irish Cancer Society and Our Lady's Hospice.

"Covid placed many constraints on how we could mourn Emer's death and celebrate her life. We thank everyone for observing with respect and sensitivity the public health restrictions that applied to her funeral, and thank Fr Gerry Moore and the funeral ministry team at St Pius X Church, Templeogue, for their great care," the message states.

“What comes through so clearly in all the messages from those who knew Emer is her warmth, her kindness and her razor-sharp wit. Keep her in your hearts and prayers, remember her often and smile for the sunshine she brought”, it adds.

Dr Holohan has been the public face of the State’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in his role as chairman of the National Public Health Emergency Team.