Vicky Phelan's family have said her passing will leave a void in all of their lives.
The cervical cancer campaigner died in the early hours of Monday morning at Milford Hospice in Limerick.
Tributes have poured in from all walks of life, including President Michael D Higgins, who hailed her "enormous contribution to Irish society."
Vicky's husband Jim and children, Amelia and Darragh, have released a joint statement.
In a post on social media, they said: "It is with an immense burden of grief, that earlier today we bade our final farewell to our beloved Vicky.
"She was the heart and soul of our family unit and her passing will leave a void in all our lives, that at this point seems impossible to fill.
"We cherish the memories of a loving wife, mother, daughter and sister, who's ability to deal with the struggles of life has inspired not only ourselves, but an entire nation.
"The outpouring of grief and good wishes from far and wide are truly appreciated."
The statement added that funeral arrangements, when made, will be private with an opportunity for people to pay their respects in due course.