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One of Marie Fleming’s last acts before she died from Multiple Sclerosis in late 2013 was to complete her memoir. A woman described by the High Court President as ‘one of the most remarkable witnesses to come before the courts’, during her landmark case against the Irish State to lift the ban on assisted suicide, here she tells the personal story behind the public face.
From her young years growing up in Donegal, as she struggled to keep her family together after her mother left, to her battle to keep her own first-born child, born when she herself was still a teenager, to her later quest for education and self-betterment, against the odds, An Act of Love is an unforgettable story of ambition and of life lived to the full, of coming to terms with MS, and of sorrow and abiding love.
It’s also the story of a court case which, although lost, nonetheless succeeded in bringing a crucial issue – a person’s right to die with dignity – into keen public and political focus. Full of courage and quiet dignity, An Act of Love is an outstanding book for our times.