MOURNERS at the funeral of Emma Mhic Mhathúna were told she had a ‘ferocious love for her children’ and held no bitterness despite her ordeal.
People lined the streets of Dublin and flags were flown at half-mast as her funeral cortege made its way to St Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin today.
Ms Mhic Mhathúna, 37, passed away on Sunday after being diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year.
She was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2016 after incorrectly receiving two clear smear tests in 2010 and 2013.
In his homily, Fr Paddy Moran said Ms Mhic Mhathúna’s first thoughts were always for her children.
“My connection with Emma is though my family,” said Fr Moran. “My sister-in-law Elaine is Emma’s aunt.
“We would have met at different family occasions. In recent times we met in Saint Vincent’s Hospital here in Dublin.
“When I called in to see Emma I was very struck by two things. Firstly her sense of calm and secondly her ferocious love for her children. Natasha, her daughter was in the room.
“I asked how she was doing. Her reply was very striking.
“Her illness, she said, she did not see as part of God’s plan, but rather as the result of human error.
“She said the organisations who made errors had apologised and that those letters of apology meant a huge amount to her.
“She didn’t want those letters for herself but for her children.
“Regarding the apologies she spoke with no malice, anger or bitterness. Just a mother thinking first and foremost of her children.”
Hundreds of people lined the streets as Ms Mhic Mhathúna’s funeral cortege made its way through the city, passing Leinster House, the Department of Health and Government Buildings.
At the Dáil, TDs from across the political divide clapped as the cortege passed while at Government Buildings, flags were lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect to Ms Mhic Mhathúna and all those affected by the CervicalCheck crisis.
Fr Moran praised Ms Mhic Mhathúna for the strength she has given others going through similar ordeals.
He said: “Thank you for the hope you expressed that people are good and have a capacity to learn from mistakes and that what happened to you should not happen to any other woman in our land.
“Thank you for the encouragement you give to people who are suffering now, in hospitals, in hospices, in their homes. May they find in your strength courage in their suffering.
“Thank you for showing us that in life there is far more cause for celebration than consternation.
“Thank you for the gift of your children. They are wonderful and you will always live through them.
“Thank you Emma. You were and will always be a blessing for us all.”
Ms Mhic Mhathúna was buried with her mother at Laraghbryan Cemetery, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.