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Chief Medical Officer (Ireland) facts for kids

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Chief Medical Officer of Ireland
Dr Tony Holohan

since May 2008
Department of Health
Abbreviation CMO
Reports to Minister for Health
Appointer Government of Ireland
Inaugural holder Dr James Deeny
Formation 1944
Deputy Dr Ronan Glynn

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) (Irish: An Príomh-Oifigeach Míochaine) for Ireland is the most senior government advisor on health-related matters. It is a government post as the lead medical expert in the Department of Health.

The key responsibilities of the CMO include providing expert medical evidence, especially in public health matters, as well as leading on patient safety issues, emergency planning and other areas.


The Government of Ireland appointed Dr James Deeny as its first Chief Medical Adviser in 1944. He was succeeded by Dr Charlie Lysaght who changed the name of the role to its current title of Chief Medical Officer.

List of office-holders

Chief Medical Adviser

  • Dr James Deeny, 1944–1962
  • Dr Charlie Lysaght, 1962–1965

Chief Medical Officer

  • Dr Jim Kiely, 1997–2008
  • Dr Tony Holohan, 2008–present
  • Dr Ronan Glynn (acting), July–October 2020

Deputy Chief Medical Officer

  • Dr James Walsh, ?–1988
  • Dr Tony Holohan, 2001–2008
  • Dr Philip Crowley, 2008–2018
  • Dr Ronan Glynn, 2018–present
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