Philomena Canning, an independent midwife who was an advocate for home births, has died following a battle with ovarian cancer.
The campaigner for women's healthcare recently settled a long-running dispute with the HSE.
In 2014, her indemnity insurance to practice as a midwife was withdrawn by the HSE, pending an investigation into two alleged safety risks.
A number of investigations exonerated Ms Canning's midwifery practices and she was allowed to practice again in 2016.
She sued the HSE and when her cancer became terminal she asked her legal team to settle the case, so that she could use the compensation to get access to the drug Pembro, which costs €6,000 a dose.
After the settlement she released a statement saying it was a "day of vindication".
"It is a relief to wake in the knowledge that I do not have to fight any more: for my livelihood, my good name, my vocation. I have the peace of mind I longed for."
Tributes have been paid to her by those who remember her as an "midwifery hero".
The National Women's Council of Ireland said in a tweet: "So saddened to hear of the death of Philomena Canning - campaigner, activist and strong advocate for women's healthcare. Rest in peace."
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Association described her as an "inspirational midwife".
While, Queens University Belfast Midwifery Society said she was, "A true midwifery hero and the embodiment of what it means to be 'with women'".
In one of her final posts on social media, Ms Canning said: "Every woman has the right to be supported by her healthcare providers in the birth of her choosing...You were born to do this."