Tracey Brennan was a ‘ray of light’, mourners hear

Campaigning cancer care advocate from Roscommon died in Galway last Friday

Tracey Brennan. Photograph:

Tracey Brennan. Photograph:


Cancer care advocate Tracey Brennan was a ‘ray of light’ in the lives of everyone who knew her, her funeral in Co Roscommon has heard.

Politicians, fellow cancer campaigners, family and friends gathered at St Patrick’s Church in Cloverhill on Monday to celebrate the life of Ms Brennan.

The 33-year-old mother of one from Grange, Four-Mile-House, died at Galway University Hospital last Friday. She had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2017 following a smear test.

She had campaigned alongside fellow cancer sufferers Vicky Phelan from Limerick and Áine Morgan from Galway for cervical cancer patients to get access to the Pembrolizumab drug. They met representatives from the Health Services Executive and the Department of Health last Christmas before receiving news earlier this year that the drug was to be made available.

Nursing colleagues from Roscommon University Hospital provided a guard of honour as the funeral cortege made its way to the church where Ms Brennan’s three-year-old son Evan, touched his mother’s coffin as he was being held by his father Aidan.

Mr Brennan later told mourners his wife fought her battle “with bravery, positivity and with a smile on her face.

“It’s a pity we didn’t have more time, but we have some wonderful memories and they will keep us going. She was too positive to be doubtful, too determined to be defeated and never gave up.”

Fr Raymond Browne described Ms Brennan as a “fighter” for fellow cancer patients. “We saw that in evidence when she pleaded her case to Government. She succeeded in getting the drug but sadly it didn’t help her illness.

“Tracey was always cheerful and bubbly. She was a ray of light in the lives of all who knew her. She was a very caring individual, which is why she chose nursing as a career. She was excited about her son Evan competing in the Community Games when I spoke to her for the last time last Monday.

“I have met four saints in my life including Mother Teresa. All I can say after meeting them is that saints are just like ourselves. I no longer look up to the clouds. When I think of saints, I think of people like Tracey Brennan.”

Ms Brennan is survived by her husband Aidan, son Evan, parents Pauline and MJ, sisters Amanda, Emma and Laura, brothers Michael and Tommie and extended family.