The youngest daughter of Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin was laid to rest this morning in Co.Cork. Leana, daughter of Michael Martin and his wife Mary died in a London hospital on Friday after developing a sudden cardiac condition over the past two weeks.
Last night her parents and three surviving siblings Micheal Aodh (16), Aoibhe (14) and Cillian (10) placed images of the seven-year-old on the alter close to her coffin. Michael had described his youngest daughter as the "beautiful light in our lives"
Yesterday afternoon a large gathering of people paid their condolences to the grieving family at O'Connor's Funeral Home in Temple Hill, Co. Cork. For over three hours a long precession of friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbors made their way through the funeral home. A group of Leana's classmates arrived with hand-drawn pictures of their friend.
There was a strong political presence with Former Defense Minister Willie O'Dea one of the first to arrive, followed by junior ministers Peter Power, Billy Kelleher and Dick Roche; Finance Minister Brian Lenihan; Transport Minister Noel Dempsey; former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern; MEP Brian Crowley and government chief whip John Curran.
Also present were local Cork TDs: Fianna Fail's Ned O'Keeffe; Noel O'Flynn; Michael Ahern; Michael McGrath and Michael Moynihan; Fine Gael's Simon Coveney and Deirdre Clune; and Mr Martin's former cabinet colleague John O'Donoghue.
Shortly after 5pm the Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen arrived accompanied by his wife Mary at the church where Leana's remains were reposed over night. Several more cabinet colleagues joined Mr Cowen at the short removal service in the nearby church, including Green ministers John Gormley and Eamon Ryan; Justice Minister Dermot Ahern; Finance Minister Brian Lenihan; Health Minister Mary Harney;Attorney General Paul Gallagher and junior ministers Barry Andrews and Sean Haughey.
In a statement, a family spokesman said: "Mary and Micheal are heartbroken at the loss of their darling Leana. The family would appreciate space and privacy at this sad time."
The Requiem Mass took place at 11.30am this morning and soon after Leana Martin was laid to rest.