President Higgins remembers Emma Hannigan and her advocacy for Breast Cancer Ireland

Update: President Michael D Higgins has expressed deep sadness at the death earlier today of Irish author, Emma Hannigan.

The President says she will be remembered as a powerful advocate for Breast Cancer Ireland, leaving a lasting legacy through her work and her courage in dealing with a terminal illness.

Emma, a 45-year-old Wicklow native, posted an emotional message on social media last month, saying her medical team had exhausted all avenues in her fight against cancer.

It accelerated a fundraising effort which has reached 100,000 euro, for Breast Cancer Ireland, from the sale of her book 'Letters to my Daughters'.

Earlier: Irish author Emma Hannigan has died today following her battle with breast cancer.

She was 45.

Breast Cancer Ireland confirmed the news this afternoon and offered their sympathies to Emma's family.

Emma revealed last month, in a post on her website, that she did not have long to live.

"The time that I knew was borrowed must be given back soon, so it seems," she wrote.

"The conversation I never wanted to have has been said.

"My medical team have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this fight but all avenues have now been exhausted.

"To say that I am heartbroken doesn’t begin to cover it."

Emma wrote several best-selling books, including her most recent book Letters to my Daughters - which topped the Irish charts last month.

The mother-of-two has battled cancer ten times after discovering in 2006 she carries the BrCa1 gene, which increased her risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. She had her breasts and ovaries removed that year, but went on to develop cancer ten times in a decade.

She signed off on her website post by saying she is "taking a bow".

"Farewell and thank you, I am taking a bow. Until we meet again may all that is good and decent be yours."

Many people have taken to Twitter to express their sadness and to honour her memory.

By Greg Murphy

Most Read in Ireland