Dr Tony Holohan mural to be auctioned for charity

Dr Tony Holohan mural to be auctioned for charity
The mural of Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
By Steve Neville

A mural of Dr Tony Holohan on a Dublin pub will be auctioned for charity.

A caricature of the Chief Medical Officer holding his shirt open with the Superman-style letters TH inside is currently on display at Devitt’s pub.

The artist, Niall O’Loughlin, has said on social media that when “lockdown is over” the pub will “very kindly let me auction my Tony Holohan mural for charity and include a personal whiskey locker.” 

He said the charity he would like to help is the Julian Benson Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (JBCFF).

The charity was set up by Benson, a Dancing With The Stars judge, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when he was two-years-old.

CF is a disease that affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system.

Benson hailed O’Loughlin’s decision as fabulous.

“An iconic piece of artwork which will go down in history,” he said.

“Humbled that you have chosen my cystic fibrosis charity.”

Over the weekend, €500,000 was raised for the JBCFF after 2fm DJ Eoghan McDermott shaved his head for the charity.

McDermott asked people to donate via JBCFF.ie or through a GoFundMe he had set up.

The breakfast radio presenter wrote on his appeal: “The immediate goal of JBCFF is to provide free accommodation for the families of Cystic Fibrosis patients receiving  long courses of treatment in Dublin. 

“Many families must either pay for expensive hotels or commute long distances daily from all over the country to be with loved ones during difficult times. 

“The foundation wants to provide dedicated accommodation close to St Vincents Hospital (the national referral hospital for CF) and make it available, free of charge, for CF families 24/7/365.

“The accommodation will also be available to families of CF patients in other Dublin hospitals. 

“Your help will save under-pressure families from this extra financial burden for decades to come.”

Over the weekend, McDermott called Benson to tell them they had passed the half-a-million mark for the charity.

An emotional Benson thanked people “who gave every penny, who gave with their heart and soul. All the support.”

He added: “If people actually knew how important this is right now… It’s just amazing.”

Yesterday, O’Loughlin revealed that he had received some abuse over his Tony Holohan drawing.

The Meath based artist said: “I have received a handful of emails abusing me for the cartoon and referring to Dr Holohan and the cervical check scandal.

“I was personally abused in the emails and called a low life. The senders also said they reported me to the gardaí for carrying out non-essential work.

“Look, unfortunately once you put yourself out in the public eye, you are going to be open to abuse and I'm not bothered by it as it's only a handful of emails among hundreds of others who love the cartoon.”