DR TONY Holohan’s wife, Emer, has died following a long battle with illness.
Tributes have flooded in for Dr Emer, who passed away at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, Dublin.
A beloved wife and mother of two, she was previously diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, in 2012.
Due the current Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings, a private funeral will take place with only immediate family members in attendance.
However, Dr Emer's mass will be streamed live from St Pius X Church on Monday, February 22, at 12.30pm.
Her death notice on RIP.ie reads: "HOLOHAN (née Feely), Dr. Emer, 19th February, 2021, Terenure, Dublin.
"Peacefully at Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross following a long illness, in the company of her husband and children.
"Deeply regretted by her husband Tony, children Clodagh and Ronan, father Frank and mother Ita, brother Ronan, sisters Orla and Niamh.
"Emer will be forever remembered by the Holohan and Feely families and her wide circle of dear friends."
The message continues: "Emer’s request is for family flowers only please and donations if desired to Terenure College 6th year Gofundme campaign in aid of The Irish Cancer Society and Our Lady’s Hospice."
Taoiseach Micheál Martin led the tributes to Dr Emer, remembering her as someone who "made a significant contribution to the health service".
He said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, and his children, Clodagh and Ronan, today following the sad passing of his wife Emer.
"Dr Emer Holohan made a significant contribution to the health service, including her work on the Health Strategy when I was Minister for Health.
"Tony and his entire family have given so much to this country since the start of the pandemic.
"At this time, I would ask for as much space and privacy to be given to them as possible."
Those sentiments were echoed by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly.
"I would like to extend my condolences to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, and his children Clodagh and Ronan following the death of Dr Emer Holohan née Feely,” he said.
"The thoughts and prayers of Tony’s colleagues in the Department of Health are with Emer’s family, including her parents, siblings, and her friends, as indeed are those of many people across the country.
"I would like to reiterate the request for the privacy of the family to be respected at this time."
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald also expressed her deepest sympathies to Dr Holohan and his family at this difficult time.
She said "I want to extend my deepest condolences on the passing of Dr. Emer Holohan, and I extend my deepest sympathies to her husband Dr. Tony Holohan, their children Clodagh and Ronan, to her parents, wider family and friends.
"My thoughts are with them all at this very sad time.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.”
The Labour leader Alan Kelly said: "My deepest sympathies and those of @labour party to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan and his wider family on the passing of his wife Emer earlier today. May she rest in peace."
While Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said: "Very sad to hear of the passing of Dr Emer Holohan (née Feely). Thoughts are with her parents Frank and Ita Feely, her husband Tony Holohan and her children Ronan and Clodagh. May she rest in peace."
The Irish Cancer Society also posted a message on Twitter: "The Irish Cancer Society wishes to extend its sincere condolences to the family of Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan on the sad passing of his wife Emer.
"The Holohan family are in our thoughts at this sad time."
The Irish Cancer Society wishes to extend its sincere condolences to the family of Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan on the sad passing of his wife Emer. The Holohan family are in our thoughts at this sad time.
— Irish Cancer Society (@IrishCancerSoc) February 19, 2021
An enduring figure of hope and determination during the pandemic, Dr Holohan previously took a three-month break from his role as CMO to care for his wife and family.
Speaking at the time, Dr Holohan said: "My wife Emer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, in 2012.
"She's had a number of difficult years with her disease and was admitted for palliative care last Saturday and I now want to give my energy and attention and all of my time to Emer and to our two teenage children Clodagh and Ronan."
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ronan Glynn is currently filling in for Dr Holohan.