"On Monday I received a briefing note regarding the previously proposed secondment of the Chief Medical Officer to Trinity College Dublin as a Professor of Public Health Strategy and Leadership. The briefing, which was done in a few short days, outlines the context for the secondment.
"There has been criticism that the department did not outline the full details of what was being proposed when it was announced. The department has accepted that the proposed arrangements should have been communicated earlier. The department also acknowledges that there are lessons to be learnt.
"I am initiating a review, having regard to the process of the proposed secondment of the Chief Medical Officer and research proposal, to examine learnings and recommendations that could inform future such initiatives. I am appointing an external expert to carry out this review.
"It is fully appropriate for there to be scrutiny of significant appointments and announcements. Such scrutiny should be devoid of personalised commentary directed at civil servants who are working in good faith with good intentions. We have a strong civil service in Ireland as evidenced throughout the pandemic and we should not lose sight of that."
Briefing note from the Secretary General of the Department of Health