Dublin-born actor Karl Shiels, who starred as Robbie Quinn in Fair City, has died aged 47. 

His agent Lisa Richards confirmed the news in a statement to RTÉ. 

"We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our client and friend Karl Shiels, yesterday," the statement reads.

"Karl was a uniquely talented individual, simultaneously intense, light hearted, funny, sharp witted, outspoken and intensely powerful as an actor, director and artistic director of the Theatre Upstairs - where he was such a support and mentor for young writers, actors and directors -  and of his own company Semper Fi before that.

"Karl was a remarkable force in Irish theatre and hugely loved and respected by all who worked with him.

"Our hearts are broken but today our thoughts are with his partner Laura and his family, his children and their mother Dearbhla and his many close friends among whom we count ourselves lucky to have been for so many years." 

Karl Shiels alongside Aisling O'Neill in one of his early Fair City scenes in 2014

Tributes to the late actor have flooded in on social media, including those from Fair City cast members past and present.

Shiels arrived in Fair City in 2014 as wheeler-dealer Robbie Quinn and it's fair to say he made his presence known with the residents of Carrigstown from the off. He was involved in a number of high profile storylines, most recently the bumper Christmas Day special which saw Robbie reunite with former flame Carol, played by Aisling O'Neill. 

Viewers last saw Robbie in Fair City on Sunday night when he opened up to Carol about his past, and also fight and make-up with both Nora and Ray.

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Paying tribute to Shiels, Brigie de Courcy, Executive Producer of Fair City said: "Joining Fair City in 2014, Karl Shiels made his mark immediately playing the formidable Robbie Quinn, and always brought such, warmth, talent and humour to Carrigstown.

"We are absolutely devastated and he will be so greatly missed by the entire cast and crew. Our thoughts are with his family at this incredibly sad time." 

Carol (Aisling O'Neill) and Robbie (Karl Shiels) in the Fair City Christmas special

He began his career as an electrician but changed direction in the early nineties when he trained with the Gaiety School of Acting. 

In 1999 he won the Best Actor Award at the Dublin Theatre Festival for his role in Comedians.

His extensive work at The Abbey Theatre included Beauty in a Broken Place, At Swim-Two Birds, The Barbaric Comedies and Henry IV (Part One).

George McMahon as Mondo O'Connell, Karl Shiels as Robbie Quinn and David O'Sullivan as Decco Bishop in Fair City (2018)

In 2010 Shiels appeared in Penelope, a play by Enda Walsh for Druid Theatre Company which won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival 2010. Shiels was also nominated for a Best Actor Award in the 2010 Stage Awards and an Irish Times Theatre Awards Best Actor Award in 2011.

Other theatre work included The Shadow of a Gunman, The Spanish Tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, This Lime Tree Bower and the acclaimed Howie the Rookie.

As well as Fair City, Shiels has starred in a number of TV and film productions including Batman Begins, Peaky Blinders, Veronica Guerin, The Clinic, Doctors, Into the Badlands and The Tudors.