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07th Mar 2024

Ryan Tubridy pays tribute to Saoírse Ruane, 12, after Toy Show star’s death

Stephen Porzio

“The world is a poorer place without Saoírse.”

Former Late Late host Ryan Tubridy has paid tribute to Toy Show star Saoírse Ruane following her death at the age of 12.

Saoírse, who inspired the Late Late Show Toy Show appeal, passed away on Tuesday morning (5 March) following a long illness.

Posting an image of himself and Saoírse together, Tubridy wrote: “It is with the greatest sadness imaginable that I’ve heard the news of my dear young friend, Saoírse Ruane’s passing.

“We became friends instantly when we met. She told her story, the nation fell in love with her and a charity began because of her and with that she helped enrich and encourage the lives of thousands of children in Ireland.

“A selfless, humble, kind, optimistic and thoughtful child. She was everything we should and could be as a country and her passing will put so much into perspective for so many of us.

“I send my condolences and all the love possible to Roseanna, Ollie and Farrah Rose, a beautiful family whose world has changed utterly. I want to thank them for sharing their extraordinary Saoírse with us all.

‘The world is a poorer place without Saoírse but I do hope that twinkle in her eye shines on and on.”

Saoírse was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in December 2019 and had her right leg amputated. She appeared on the Late Late Toy Show in 2020 and captured the hearts of people throughout Ireland when she spoke about her fight against cancer.

Her appearance on the show saw the founding of the Toy Show appeal, which has since raised millions of euros for children’s charities.

Towards the end of 2023, Saoírse’s mother Roseanna said that the child was undergoing treatment after a fourth cancer diagnosis.

Her family announced the devastating news of her death on Thursday morning (7 March), writing:

“It is with broken hearts the Ruane family announce the passing of their beautiful daughter and sister, Saoírse, who passed away peacefully at home, after a long illness bravely borne, in the arms of her heartbroken parents Ollie and Roseanna on Tuesday 5th March 2024.

“Predeceased by her grandfather Michael Ruane. Saoírse, adored daughter to Ollie and Roseanna, big sister to Farrah Rose, half-sister to Rebecca, grand-daughter to Anne Ruane and Tony and Ann Brehony, an adored niece, cousin, family member and of course, best friend to Willow and Slush, was loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure.

“A pupil of Kiltullagh National School, Saoírse will be missed but always remembered by her school friends and teachers, who have travelled the road with Saoírse on her journey, and were a source of joy and fun to her.

“Saoírse, aged just 12 years old, was surrounded, as she has been throughout her illness, by the love, care and devotion of her family, the prayers and goodwill of the community in Kiltullagh and people all over the country who held Saoírse in their hearts.

“In Saoírse’s short life, she inspired and influenced so many. If you would like to make a donation in Saoírse’s memory, please donate to the Galway Hospice using the following link: In Memory of Saoírse.’

The notice ends with a quote from Winnie the Pooh, which reads: “If ever there comes a time when we can’t be together, Keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever” – Winnie the Pooh. Fly Now with the Angels Saoírse.”

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