Irish News

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Marie Fleming letter pays tribute to partner Tom at her funeral

Published 22/12/2013|16:32

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22/12/13 Husband Tom with Marie's stepson David and daughter Corinna at the funeral of Right To Die campaigner Marie Fleming at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Castlemacadam, Avoca, Co Wicklow. Picture:Arthur Carron/Collins
In the letter, Marie also paid tribute to her partner Tom who became her full-time carer after her health began to deteriorate.

Mourners were read a letter written by Marie before her death at her funeral in Wicklow today.

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Marie's daughter Corrinna read out a letter written by her mother before her death, in which she said she "was not frightened" of death and thanked her friends, family and carers.

She also thanked her legal team for helping her with the case which she finally lost in the Supreme Court in April. "It is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all," she wrote. In the letter, Marie also paid tribute to her partner Tom who became her full-time carer after her health began to deteriorate. Calling him her "soulmate", she wrote, "we're lucky to have found each other".

The chief mourners at the funeral were her partner Tom, children Simon and Corrinna, stepson David, brothers Don and Brian and sister Noeleen. The chief celebrant was the Reverend George Butler, and the hymns and carols were sung by family friend Mary Graham.

Marie Fleming had planned her own funeral, and was buried in a wicker casket which was transported into the church to the song 'Come On Eileen' by Dexy's Midnight Runners. There were also readings from several of her grandchildren, who talked about Marie's love of baking and her attachment to her garden.

In his eulogy, Tom vowed to carry on the campaign begun by Marie. After the mass, she was laid to rest in the cemetery in the grounds of the church.

Mourners at the funeral of Marie Fleming were told how the right-to-die campaign "had strength and determination beyond belief".

In a moving eulogy for the 59-year old who died in the early hours of Friday morning at her Wicklow home, her partner Tom Curran spoke about Marie's long illness with multiple sclerosis and her battle through the courts for the right to an assisted suicide.

"Marie did not have a wish to die, but she didn't want to die badly," he said at the funeral mass today in the Church of the Holy Trinity near the village of Avoca in Wicklow.

Lise Hand



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