Dept of Health chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan
WE ALL feel like we know Dr Tony Holohan after these past few terrible weeks.
The department of health’s chief medical officer has been the figurehead of the country’s response to the global coronavirus pandemic.
His calm demeanour and excellent communication skills on TV have impressed the nation.
But it is no real surprise as he comes from very good stock. Dr Holohan is a Ryan “Luke” from Cappamore. That name carries weight in farming, shows, breeding and community circles.
When contacted by the Limerick Leader, Paddy Ryan “Luke” confirmed that Dr Holohan is his nephew.
“He is the son of my sister, Bridget. She married Liam who is a retired garda from Kilkenny. He was a sergeant in Henry Street before he retired and they moved to Kilkenny.
“They used to live in Castletroy and then Annacotty,” said Mr Ryan “Luke”.
The young Dr Holohan was a frequent visitor to his mother’s homeplace in Cappamore.
“When he was a young lad they lived only in the road so they were here quite a lot. He enjoyed coming out to the farm. You could say he is a country lad at heart.
“When he lived in Limerick he always came to the Cappamore Show as it is very much part of the social calendar,” said Mr Ryan “Luke”, who has been secretary of the Cappamore Show for an incredible 61 years.
Regarding Dr Holohan’s outstanding leadership at this terrible time, Mr Ryan “Luke” said it isn’t for any of his relatives “to put a halo on his head”.
“It’s his job, that’s the way he looks at it. When he got the position it was a prestigious appointment but I don’t envy him at the moment,” said Mr Ryan “Luke”.
The last time he met Dr Holohan was a couple of months ago at a family celebration.
“He is still Tony Holohan. There are no airs or graces about him.
“He is a very level-headed man. He is a very easy-going, relaxed individual and enjoys the craic,” said Mr Ryan “Luke”.
The Cappamore man says all we can do is be positive during this coronavirus crisis and follow his nephew’s advice.
“We are in it for the long haul. It is going to have major repercussions for the Irish and global economy.
“If you sit down and think it over it is frightening. You are better off not to think about it - you are better off just plodding along,” said Mr Ryan “Luke”.
Wise words. As the saying goes - you can’t bate breeding.