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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019
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Dermot Bannon says he is "heartbroken" over the death of Michael Stokes

“I feel so privileged to have known him.”

original Source: RTÉ

IT’S NOT VERY often that someone can melt hearts across this nation in the way that Michael Stokes did when he first appeared on Room To Improve in 2015.

We were all introduced to Michael, when his former teacher Ann and her husband Barry decided to complete reshape their home so that Michael could visit them on respite breaks from his residential care.

original (1) Source: RTÉ

Ann and Barry got in touch with Dermot Bannon for help with this project, which involved making their entire home wheelchair accessible for Michael. People immediately fell in love with Michael and his brilliant sense of humour.

original (1) Source: RTÉ

In February of this year, 15-year-old Michael appeared on The Late Late Show, where he and Barry told Ryan Tubridy that he no longer visited Barry and Ann for respite breaks. He announced that he had moved in full time to live with the couple, who were happy to foster him.

If the video won’t play, click here.

This morning, the very sad news of Michael’s death was announced.

The 15-year-old passed away at Temple Street Children’s hospital after an accident. Tributes began to pour in for Michael, from individuals and groups like St. Michael’s House, who said:

We are very sad to give Michael Stokes to the angels this weekend. He was a treasure to all who knew him in St. Michael’s House. Sincere sympathies to his loving family from our Board, staff and all his friends.

Central Remedial Clinic also released a statement, saying that they were devastated to hear of the passing of their student Michael Stokes.

He was a ray of sunshine and much loved by everyone. A light has gone out. May he rest in absolute. An inspiration.

Ryan Tubridy took to Instagram to offer his condolences to Michael’s family and friends.

He was an unforgettable soul and we are all so sad today.

This afternoon, Dermot Bannon also made a statement about Michael’s untimely death.

Sharing a photograph of Michael smiling to his Instagram, Dermot wrote:

What a privilege to have known this amazing young man.

What a privilege to have known this amazing young man

A post shared by Dermot Bannon (@dermotbannon) on

Speaking to RTÉ, Dermot said:

I’m heartbroken for Ann, Barry, his parents, his family and anyone who knew him. Michael was such a big character with a huge heart filled with fun, joy and excitement. He leaves a very big void. I saw how he touched so many lives, those he knew and the many he never met.

Bannon added:

I feel so privileged to have known him, he taught me so many things about life, but most of all don’t get caught up in all the things you can’t do or have no control over, enjoy and do your best with the things you can.

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Kelly Earley

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