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HPV campaigner Laura Brennan dies

HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan has lost her battle with terminal cancer on Wednesday. The Ennis woman who had become one of Ireland’s leading patient advocates and campaigners for the HPV vaccine passed away on Wednesday at University Hospital Limerick.
In a statement the Brennan family said, “Laura was a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. We are lost without her.
“We are all incredibly proud of the work she did in the last 18 months to help protect other young women like herself from the cancer that has taken her life today. Laura used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents to make informed choices and protect their daughters from cervical cancer. She wanted to make a difference, and use the time that she had to right what she felt was a great wrong.” The family have appealed for privacy. Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised.

President Michael D Higgins offered his condolences to the Brennan family on Wednesday evening.

“I am sure that I was among very many who were greatly saddened on hearing that Laura Brennan has died. Laura impressed so very many with her campaigning and her work as a patient advocate has had a real and positive effect on countless young women across the country. On behalf of the people of Ireland, I send my condolences to her family and friends, and to all those who have shared Ms. Brennan’s journey,” President Higgins said.
Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy said: “Laura Brennan was one of those extraordinary people who shine brightly and make friends easily with whoever they meet by sheer force of personality and natural kindness. She had these traits in abundance. I met her a number of times and walked away utterly taken aback by her verve and commitment to help people throughout her campaigning.

The world will be quieter and sadder without her. My thoughts are with her family for whom a bright light was cruelly prevented from shining but her legacy will not be forgotten.”

The HSE have paid tribute to Laura, with Anne O’Connor, Interim HSE Director General, saying, “We know that Laura has made a difference, and will have saved lives through her great effort and her tremendous generosity of spirit.”
Clare County Council will open a Book of Condolence in memory of Laura in the public foyer of Áras Contae an Chláir, Ennis, at 10am on Thursday.

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Jessica Quinn

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