Tributes are being paid to Michael Stokes following the news of his passing at Temple Street Hospital at the weekend after a recent tragic accident.
The popular teen had appeared in an episode of RTÉ's Room to Improve in 2015, in what became a much-talked about episode of the show, due in no small part to Michael's engaging personality and to how well he and Dermot Bannon got on.
Dermot told us: "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."
"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."
There was a wonderful feel-good factor about Michael's story because, after years in care, his teacher Ann and her husband Barry decided to foster the teen and Dermot was brought in to make their Malahide home wheelchair accessible.
Ahead of the new season of Room to Improve earlier this year, Michael joined Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show with Barry and when Ryan asked him about the difference Dermot and co made to their home, he said: "I have my own bed, I have my own desk.
"I love everything, everything is at my level." You can watch the interview below.
Ryan posted this tribute on Instagram:
Since Michael's passing on Saturday, St Michael’s House released a statement which read: "We are very sad to give Michael Stokes to the angels this weekend.
"He was a treasure to all who knew him in St.Michaels House.Sincere sympathies to his loving family from our Board, staff and all his friends."
Michael's family posted on RIP.ie that he died "...peacefully, following a tragic accident, in the wonderful care of the staff of Temple Street Children's Hospital."
A statement from the Central Remedial Clinic read: "The CRC is devastated to hear of the passing of one our students Michael Stokes, he was a ray of sunshine and much loved by everyone.
"especially all his classmates. We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann & Barry and all his friends and family. XXX"
1/2 The CRC is devastated to hear of the passing of one our students Michael Stokes, he was a ray of sunshine and much loved by everyone https://t.co/CAGuMhCivl— CRC (@centralremedial) May 7, 2018
2/2 especially all his classmates. We extend our deepest sympathies to Ann & Barry and all his friends and family. XXX https://t.co/CAGuMhCivl— CRC (@centralremedial) May 7, 2018