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Saturday 21 July 2018

Room to Improve star Michael Stokes passes away after 'tragic accident'

Michael, Ann and Barry talk to Dermot Bannon. Room to Improve
Michael, Ann and Barry talk to Dermot Bannon. Room to Improve
Independent.ie Newsdesk

ONE of the biggest stars of popular RTE television series 'Room to Improve' has died following a tragic accident.

Michael Stokes (15) stole the heart of the nation a couple of series back when Dermot Bannon attempted to make the Malahide home of his friends Ann Higgins, a special needs teacher, and her husband Barry more wheelchair-friendly.

Michael - who was wheelchair bound - regularly visited Malahide for respite breaks from residential accommodation, and his incredible attitude and demeanour struck a chord with viewers - and with Dermot Bannon who went to great lengths to ensure the project was a success.

Famously, at one point, Michael told Dermot to "go back to the drawing board" when the project was in the balance.

And the youngster did it all over again in 2016 when the show re-visited him to see how he was getting on - with Michael going on to appear on the Late Late Show earlier this year to talk about his experiences. 

At that point he told Ryan Tubridy that he was being fostered by Ann and Barry, and staying with them full-time.

Remember Michael and Barry from one of the most talked about episodes of Room to Improve? The house got the Dermot Bannon treatment to make things easier for Michael, and since then he has moved in #latelate

Posted by The Late Late Show on Friday, February 16, 2018

"I knew Ann because she was my teacher and I met Barry at my communion party," he said.

"I have my own bed, I have my own desk. I love everything, everything is at my level," he added.

According to a death notice posted on RIP.ie, Michael passed away peacefully on Saturday "in the wonderful care of the staff of Temple Street Children's Hospital".

"He will be very sadly missed by his parents, brothers, sisters, extended family and a large circle of friends," it adds. The notice said the young man had "a tragic accident".

It is understood Michael may have suffered a fall in recent weeks.

His funeral Mass will take place on Wednesday at Church of the Sacred Hearth, Seabury, Malahide.

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