Irish author Emma Hannigan dies following cancer battle

Her final book 'Letters to my Daughters' topped the Irish charts last month

Irish author Emma Hannigan dies following cancer battle

Emma Hannigan. Photography: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Irish author Emma Hannigan has died following a battle with cancer.

The news was confirmed by Breast Cancer Ireland this afternoon.

Hannigan, who was 45, wrote several best-selling books, including her most recent book Letters to my Daughters - which topped the Irish charts last month.

A fundraising effort for Breast Cancer Ireland coinciding with the release of the book helped raise €100,000.

As well as her novels, she wrote non-fiction books including memoir All to Live For and Talk to the Headscarf.

The author discovered in 2005 that she was carrying the cancer carrying gene, BrCa 1.

She explained: "In plain English, this meant I had a whooping 85% chance of developing breast cancer, and a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer."

Since the gene was discovered, she has faced 10 cancer diagnoses.

Speaking about her battles with the disease, she wrote: "I have found a wonderful outlet in the form of writing. If I had never been ill, I may never have started writing books." 

In a blog post in February, she revealed she had terminal cancer, explaining: "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."

She is survived by her husband Cian, son Sacha and daughter Kim.

Tributes were paid to the author today across social media.