Nfld. & Labrador

Doctor arrested in Vikings raid returns to practice, still facing drug trafficking charges

Brendan Hollohan is back in business, practicing medicine at a Conception Bay South clinic despite still facing drug charges related to the Vikings motorcycle club.

New coworkers adamant Brendan Hollohan is innocent, have 'no concerns' in accepting him

Long Pond Medical Clinic in C.B.S. is advertising the arrival of Brendan Hollohan, a doctor facing charges for drug trafficking. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

Brendan Hollohan is back in business, practicing medicine at a Conception Bay South clinic despite still facing drug charges related to the Vikings motorcycle club.

A billboard alongside the main road through Manuels announces his return to medicine at the Long Pond Medical Clinic.

"Dr. Hollohan now accepting new patients."

While he still faces charges for trafficking oxycodone with members of a Hell's Angels affiliate club, his new coworkers are not fazed.

"I really don't care," said Thomas Brien, a doctor who runs the clinic with his wife, Yvonne Brien. "I know him to be a fine physician who was in need of help, so I offered my assistance."

"He is innocent," Yvonne Brien said.

Brendan Hollohan, a physician practicing in St. John's last year, was charged with participating in a criminal organization as well as trafficking oxycodone. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Hollohan was arrested on the morning of Sept. 28, 2016, as police raided members and associates of the Vikings club.

Around St. John's, a dozen men were arrested by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and Royal Mounted Canadian Police for allegedly dealing cocaine, heroin and fentanyl.

The sweep came 24 hours after Viking member Al Potter was charged with second-degree murder for the 2014 stabbing death of Dale Porter at his home in North River.

Many of those arrested had family ties, and checkered pasts.

College reverses stance, reissues licence

The odd man out was Brendan Hollohan, a physician with no criminal record and a practice on Queens Road.

Hollohan voluntarily gave up his medical licence after a request by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador.

According to the RCMP, outlaw motorcycle gangs need approval from Hells Angels to use the red and white colours also worn by the Vikings. (CBC)

"The College believes that it is in the public interest that Dr. Hollohan not treat patients while facing criminal charges," said Dr. Linda Inkpen, registrar of the college in an emailed statement at the time.

Hollohan is still facing charges, his lawyer confirmed to CBC News on Wednesday, but his licence was reinstated in October.

"In the spring of 2017, Dr. Hollohan requested that he return to the practice of medicine in Newfoundland and Labrador," Inkpen said on Wednesday. 

I know for a fact that Dr.  Hollohan  did nothing wrong.- Dr. Thomas Brien

"He indicated that he pleaded not guilty to the charges and that a trial had not yet been scheduled."

Inkpen said the college "evaluated the circumstances and put safeguards in place to ensure the protection of the public."

While he is allowed to practice medicine again, Hollohan is restricted from prescribing oxycodone or other narcotics, and must undergo monthly practice reviews.

His licence will be reviewed again when his criminal case is resolved.

Hollohan was also not allowed to return to his former practice — located in the same Queen's Road building once used by Sean Buckingham, a disgraced doctor convicted of trading narcotics for sex.

Buckingham also voluntarily surrendered his medical licence after his arrest, but it was never reinstated.

Colleague confident charges are bogus

According to Thomas Brien, the College did a peer review of Hollohan over the summer before giving his licence back.

"They had a physician from out of province come in and review his charts from his previous practice," he said. "The college deemed him fit to resume his practice, with restrictions, until his court date or until his charges are dropped."

Long Pond Medical Clinic has taken in Dr. Brendan Hollohan and given him a place to practice after his arrest in Sept. 2016.

Brien has known Hollohan since university, he said, and is confident in his ability to treat patients.

He is also confident in his innocence.

"I know for a fact that Dr. Hollohan did nothing wrong, that he was falsely accused and that will come out in court," he said. "I certainly have no concerns."

About the Author

Ryan Cooke works for CBC out of its bureau in St. John's.