Minister mourns loss of daughter
Politicians have united in grief after the tragic death of the daughter of Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin.
Leana Martin (7), the youngest daughter of Micheal and Mary Martin, was described by her parents as "a beautiful light in our lives".
She passed away peacefully in Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London yesterday afternoon.
Her heartbroken parents were by her bedside.
In a statement issued on behalf of the family, a 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 had been suffering from a serious cardiac illness and her condition had deteriorated over the past fortnight.
She was initially treated in Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin for two weeks.
However, the decision was made to transfer her to Great Ormond Street in London for a critical surgical procedure last week.
However, her condition deteriorated and she was apparently unable to have the treatment.
She was placed on a life-support machine several days ago.
Her parents were by her bedside in London yesterday with members of their extended family en route to Great Ormond Street.
The couple lost another child when their baby son, Ruairi, died 10 years ago.
Politicians from all parties extended their deepest sympathies to the Martin and O'Shea families.
President Mary McAleese led the expressions of sympathy.
"I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of young Leana Martin in Great Ormond Street. Leana's death is an unbearable loss for her parents Micheal and Mary, her brothers and sister and the wider Martin clan.
"I know the people of Ireland will feel immense sympathy for the Martin family as they face this devastating bereavement," the President said.