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08th Jun 2021

Taoiseach Micheál Martin opens up about “trauma” of losing two children

Sarah McKenna Barry

The Fianna Fáil leader recently described the pain of losing two of his children.

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin has spoken publicly about the pain of losing two children.

In a feature for The Irish Times, Mr Martin opened up about how his life was impacted by the death of two of his children, Ruairí and Léana.

Martin and his partner Mary suffered the devastating loss of their third child Ruairí in 1999. He told the newspaper that the baby boy sadly passed away from cot death when he was just five weeks old.

“A trauma of that kind never hit me until then, so your certainties kind of ebb away a bit,” he said.

The politician added that in the aftermath of Ruairí’s passing, caring for his two older children Micheál Aodh and Aoibhe, as well as routine, helped him heal from the loss.

Micheál and Mary subsequently welcomed two more children, a son, Cillian and a daughter called Léana.

Sadly, Léana died unexpectedly at the age of seven. He told The Irish Times that he didn’t know if he’d be able to continue with his career in politics after his daughter’s passing, describing it as an “awful time”.

He added that the support of his wider family, as well as “simple things” such as walking and exercising helped the family come to terms with the devastating loss.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this piece, resources are available. Anam Cara offers support for parents after bereavement. You can also contact The Samaritans on 116 123.