Minister's tragic little girl to be laid to rest tomorrow

Ralph Riegel

THE funeral of Leana Martin (7), the youngest daughter of Foreign Affairs Minister, Micheal Martin and his wife, Mary, will take place tomorrow.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen and senior members of the Cabinet will attend the funeral arrangements tonight and tomorrow.

The little girl's body was flown back at the weekend to her native Cork from London where she died at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.

Leana passed away at lunchtime last Friday with her heartbroken parents by her bedside after both Irish and British doctors were unable to stabilise a cardiac condition that suddenly developed over the past fortnight.


The little girl -- who had enjoyed a normal, healthy childhood -- had previously been treated at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin before being transferred to Great Ormond Street.

Leana was described by her parents as "a beautiful light in our lives". 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."

Leana was the youngest child of Micheal and Mary Martin who have three other children, Micheal Aodh (16), Aoibhe (14) and Cillian (10).

It is not the first time the couple have lost a child with a baby boy having died five weeks after his birth 10 years ago.

Mr Martin's mother, Eileen (Lana) Martin, also died last April after a courageous battle against a long-term illness.

Leana will be lying in repose at O'Connor's funeral home, Temple Hill, Cork from 3.30pm today.

She was then being removed at 6.30pm to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Ballinlough.

Her Requiem Mass will take place at 11.30am tomorrow.