Micheál Martin's daughter dies in London


THE YOUNGEST daughter of Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin died yesterday at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Léana (7), who suffered from a heart condition, had been seriously ill in recent weeks. Mr Martin, his wife Mary and other family members were present at her bedside when she passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon.

In a statement, the Martin family said they were “heartbroken at the loss of their darling Léana”.

They described the little girl as a “beautiful light in our lives” and appealed for privacy while they grieve.

The Martins, who have three other children, Micheal Aodh (16) Aoibhe (14) and Cillian (10), lost another child, Ruairí, when he was just an infant approximately 10 years ago.

A spokesman for the Minister said Léana had been in Our Lady’s children’s hospital, Crumlin for two weeks, before being transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in a critical condition earlier this week.

She was a pupil at Our Lady of Lourdes National School in Ballinlough in Cork city.

President Mary McAleese last night expressed her condolences to the Martin family.

“Léana’s death is an unbearable loss for her parents Micheál and Mary, her brothers and sister and the wider Martin clan,” said Mrs McAleese. “I know the people of Ireland will feel immense sympathy for the Martin family as they face this devastating bereavement.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said he wanted to convey on behalf of his colleagues his “sincere sympathy, solidarity and support” to the Martin family. “It is a very difficult cross for any family to bear,” Mr Cowen added.