Independent midwife and rights campaigner Philomena Sarah Canning has passed away at the age of 59.

The Glenvar native died peacefully on Friday night at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital Dublin. She had ovarian cancer.

Ms Canning had settled against the HSE this month after a long-fought battle for justice. The popular midwife, who was a strong advocate for homebirths, sought damages from a 2014 case which led to the temporary suspension on her practice.

Ms Canning bravely took on the executive from her hospital bed with the support of her clients and ‘Philomena Babies’ who were born under her care.

She won her day of vindication just three weeks ago.

In her obituary notice, her family said she passed away ‘in the wonderful and compassionate care of the staff at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital’.

The Philomena Canning Campaign Group led the tributes following her death, posting: “R.I.P. Sarah Philomena Canning. Midwife, warrior, queen. We will hold you forever in our hearts and cherish the gifts you gave us.”

She is survived by her siblings Mairead, Mary, Noel, James, Anne-Colette, Malachy and Oonagh, all will be sadly missed and remembered with love by extended family and dear friends.

Services for the late Ms Canning will be held in Dublin and Donegal this week.

Her remains will be reposing at Colliers Funeral Home, Old Connaught Avenue, Bray on Sunday, 24thMarch, from 6.00-8.00pm, with prayers at 7pm.

Requiem Mass on Monday, 25thMarch at 10.00am in St Mary’s, Star of the Sea, Sandymount, Dublin 4.

Following the Mass, Philomena will then return to the family home in Glenvar, Co. Donegal where she will repose on Monday evening from 6.00 – 10.00pm.

Funeral Mass on Tuesday, 26th March, at 11.00am in St. Mary’s, Star of the Sea, Glenvar, Co. Donegal followed by burial in Glenvar Cemetery. Family flowers only.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis

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