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DEPARTING CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, Dr Tony Holohan is to launch a book of poems by primary school students in Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Third class pupils at Scoil na Maighdine Mhuire in Newmarket-on-Fergus have put together a collection of reflections, thoughts and art work about the pandemic in a book of poems titled ‘Covid Voices: Third Class pupils reflect’.

Dr Holohan is to retire from his CMO role next month and the job advertisement for the €187,000 a year post has been set in motion. Holohan was one of the country’s key decision makers during the pandemic. He had planned to take up an academic role in Trinity College but this became embroiled in controversy. He has indicated he will be open to offers from the private sector.

Former Senator, Fidelma Healy Eames who is a special education teacher at Scoil na Maighdine Mhuire approached Dr Holohan to consider would he launch the book and was thrilled to receive a positive response. “Dr. Holohan took us through a tough pandemic which represented much suffering, isolation and restrictions. He became synonymous with Covid and gave us some certainty in a time of great uncertainty. It is fitting that he should launch our publication ‘Covid Voices’,” she said.

Ms Healy Eames has worked closely with third class teacher, Eamon Curley and the pupils on the project. She confirmed that the students decided all proceeds from the book will go towards Ukraine Aid (Red Cross).

School principal, Moira McMahon expressed her pride with the work on the book which has been ongoing since the end of January. “Their teachers have enabled our 9 and 10 year olds to be authors and to reflect on the meaning of the pandemic in their lives. It is a phenomenal achievement and fascinating to read the range of Covid-related themes the children have expressed through their poems”.

Copies of the book at €10 are available by calling the school at 061-368333. The book launch takes place on Tuesday (June 21st) at 1:30pm.

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