Seven-year-old Léana Martin, daughter of Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheal Martin, has died after a short illness.
Martin’s youngest daughter died at Great Ormonde Street Hospital in London on Friday. Her parents were at her beside.
Her parents, Micheal and Mary, say that they are heartbroken by the loss and described their daughter as “a beautiful light” in their lives. The couple have one other daughter and two sons.
On October 11, Leana was admitted to Crumlin Children’s Hospital and was transferred to the London hospital earlier this week. She was suffering from a heart complaint.
The Martins also lost a child several years ago soon after birth. They have requested privacy while they grieve.
Prime Minister Brian Cowen stated last night: "I just want to convey on my own behalf and on behalf of all my colleagues our sincere sympathy, solidarity and support to Micheal and Mary and their children at this time.
"The loss of their beloved Leana is a very difficult cross to bear . . . for any family. He has our sympathy at this time."
President Mary McAleese said she was deeply saddened by the news. “Leana’s death is an unbearable loss for her parents Micheal and Mary, her brothers and sister and the wider Martin clan,” she said.
“I know the people of Ireland will feel immense sympathy for the Martin family as they face this devastating bereavement.
“I have conveyed my heartfelt sympathies, and those of my husband Martin and family, to Micheal and Mary.
“We are keeping them all in our thoughts and prayers at this very sad time.”
USS Michael Murphy, named after Irish American Navy SEAL hero, heading toward Korea