Hundreds of mourners gathered in Ennis, Co Clare, today for a mass of remembrance for Laura Brennan who died of cervical cancer last week.

Ms Brennan was laid to rest in Drumcliffe Cemetery in Ennis this morning. 

This afternoon’s mass in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was described as a celebration of her life.

It was celebrated by Fr Pat Malone, with contributions from several of her friends and family members. 

The President was represented by his Aide de Camp, Colonel Liam Condon, while the Taoiseach’s Aide de Camp, Commandant Caroline Burke, was also in attendance. 

Minister for Health Simon Harris represented the Government.

This afternoon’s service began with a number of items being brought to the altar by friends of the 26-year-old.

Described as symbols that represented the various aspects of her short life, they included photographs of her friends and family, a Clare football jersey and a make-up bag.

A memoriam card presented to mourners lists a number of quotes from Ms Brennan in which she encouraged people to make the most of their lives and celebrate their loved ones.

Fr Malone said the country owed her a huge debt of gratitude for the manner in which she passionately promoted the call for women’s healthcare.

In his reflection, her brother Kevin told mourners that his sister’s life was about the laughter she brought to others and the help she gave to people in need.

Ms Brennan was laid to rest this morning, following a private family ceremony at Drumcliffe Cemetery. 

The 26-year-old was diagnosed with cervical cancer stage 2B when she was 24, but was steadfast in her determination to campaign for teenage girls to get the HPV vaccine, which can prevent the type of cancer she died from.

Despite her diagnosis, she campaigned tirelessly over the past 18 months to encourage young women to get the vaccine.

She appeared in a number of health promotion videos using her voice and telling her own story about how she, as an ordinary young woman, developed the illness.

"Get the vaccine, it saves lives, it could have saved mine," she said.  

Thousands of tributes have been paid to Ms Brennan since her death about how her advocacy work had saved the lives of thousands of young women, and would continue to do so.

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The Health Service Executive confirmed there had been an increase of 20% in the uptake of the HPV vaccine in the past two years to 80%. 

Her family described her as a light in the life of everyone who knew her. She was, they said, a wonderful daughter, sister and friend, and they are lost without her.

"She used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents make informed choices to protect their daughters from cervical cancer. She wanted to make a difference and use the time she had to right what she felt was a great wrong," they said.

President Michael D Higgins led tributes to Ms Brennan, saying her work had a real and positive effect on countless young women across the country.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also paid tribute to Ms Brennan, who he said had become a powerful advocate for the HPV vaccination. 

Speaking in the Dáil, he said that because of her the uptake of the vaccine had increased and he said that her actions had saved the lives of many people. He extended his condolences to the Brennan family. 

The Irish Cancer Society, the Marie Keating Foundation and the World Health Organisation said her voice was powerful and her message will live on.

Minister Harris, who met Ms Brennan on a number of occasions, said she was a powerful and tireless advocate for women's health.

Fellow campaigners Vicky Phelan and Stephan Teap also expressed their profound sadness on her death, and said she used what was left of her time to campaign so that others would not suffer her fate.

Ms Brennan is survived by her parents Bernie and Larry, and brothers Colin, Fergal, and Kevin.

Additional reporting: Cathy Halloran