Dr Tony Holohan announced last night that he will be stepping down as Ireland's Chief Medical Officer in order to spend more time with his wife and children.
Making the announcement as one of the now regular Covid-19 press conferences, Dr Tony Holohan said that his wife Emer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, in 2012 and that she entered palliative care on Saturday. He added that he now wanted to "give my energy and attention and all of my time to Emer and to our two teenage children Clodagh and Ronan."
The news led to a flood of tributes to the man who guided Ireland has guided Ireland through the pandemic via his daily televised updates. Last night #ThankYouTony was trending on Twitter and today one person has shared their own personal experience of Tony's kindness.
Twitter user Niamh Slack posted the words 'in the middle of everything, when things were at their worst, you took the time to write to our little girl. #ThankYouTony,' along with a picture of a letter received by her daughter Lydia. In it, Dr Holohan writes: 'Dear Lydia, I'm very happy you are washing your hands and doing social distancing, that's the best way to make the virus go away.'
He continues: 'I like gardening though I don't get a lot of time now to do any so I'm glad to hear you are busy in your garden. Sunflowers grow really big and have lots of seeds so there are lots to send to people so thank you for sharing some with me - you cheered me up. Look after yourself and mind your brothers Daniel and Cillian, I know you are the best big sister. Don't forget to do what mammy and daddy tell you and practice your drawing and reading."
The tweet has been shared nearly 1,000 times at the time of writing and you can see it for yourself below...
— Niamh Slack (@NiamhCorrimbla) July 2, 2020
With all he was going through personally and professionally, you have to admire Dr Holohan for taking time out to put a smile across the faces of a family. All the best in all you do, Tony.