'She fought a tremendous battle' - tributes in Kerry to a fearless campaigner
Kerry is in mourning as locals were left shocked and heartbroken at the sudden death of fearless cervical cancer campaigner Emma Mhic Mhathúna (37).
Locals said it was fitting the brave young mother was in her beloved Kerry at the end of her cancer battle.
The mother of five died at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) yesterday morning after insisting that she return to her beloved county from Dublin where she had been receiving cancer treatment over recent months.
Parish priest of Baile an Fheirtéaraigh Fr Eoghan O Cadhla said the people of west Kerry, where Ms Mhic Mhathúna had moved in the past year with her children, had taken her to their hearts and she had been an inspiration.
Extending his sympathy to her children Natasha, Seamus, Mario, Oisin and Donnacha, Fr O Cadhla said she had been a person of great courage and great faith.
"She fought a tremendous battle for herself and for women," he said.
He added that she had a lot of support and great friends, and her death had left a huge void in the area.
In the difficult months since her diagnoses, she had crammed in so much, the priest continued.
Across Co Kerry last night prayers were offered for her.
Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae paid special tribute to Ms Mhic Mhathúna for the remarkable bravery she had shown on behalf of her children.
Meanwhile, Kerry County Council will this week issue a formal vote of sympathy to her family. Her funeral arrangements in west Kerry will be confirmed later. Already a number of groups have offered to provide special guards of honour at the funeral.