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Minister's goodbye to his beloved Leana

MICHEAL Martin bid a heartbreaking goodbye to his beloved daughter Leana whose funeral was taking place today.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, his wife Mary and their three surviving children were gathering at the Our Lady of Lourdes church in Ballinlough, Cork, for the service.

Leana (7) died in a London hospital on Friday from a cardiac condition which had suddenly developed over the past two weeks.

The Martins were comforted by friends, relations, colleagues and neighbours at O'Connor's Funeral Home in Temple Hill yesterday.


A Cabinet meeting which had been scheduled for yesterday afternoon was postponed until this evening to allow Government ministers to travel to Cork.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his wife Mary offered their condolences to the Martins before travelling to the church.

Among the others who attended the short removal service were Green ministers John Gormley and Eamon Ryan, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, Health Minister Mary Harney and Transport Minister Noel Dempsey.

As the Martin family carried Leana into the church, there was complete silence.

Leana's death was the second time Micheal and Mary had lost a child -- 10 years ago their baby son Ruairi died at the age of five weeks.

Canon Jim O'Donovan described Leana as "a gorgeous child, a lovely child, a loving child". He also spoke of the joy she brought to her parents and siblings Micheal Aodh (16), Aoibhe (14) and Cillian (10).