Sunday 17 February 2019

Room To Improve star Michael passes away aged 15

Michael Stokes stole the show on Room To Improve in 2016. Photo: Collins Photos
Michael Stokes stole the show on Room To Improve in 2016. Photo: Collins Photos

A youngster who stole the hearts of the nation when he appeared on Room To Improve has died after a tragic accident.

Michael Stokes was the star of the show as a 12-year-old in 2016 when Dermot Bannon arrived to redesign the Malahide home of his foster parents, Ann and Barry, to make it more wheelchair friendly for him.

During the episode of the RTE home improvement series, he famously told Dermot to "go back to the drawing board" with his plans.

Michael (15) visited Malahide for respite breaks from residential accommodation, and his incredible attitude and demeanour struck a chord with viewers.

He passed away in Temple Street Children's Hospital on Saturday.

Earlier this year, Michael made a memorable appearance on the Late Late Show when Dermot was being interviewed.

Before the redesign, he had been staying with Ann and Barry for two days a week, but that had moved up to six.

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

Telling host Ryan Tubridy how he met Ann and Barry, he said: "She was my teacher when I was seven years old, and I met Barry at my communion party."


Barry said that his first encounter with Michael came after Ann told him stories about the child from her time teaching him.

"Ann used to come home and talk about school - 'This happened and that happened'. Invariably, Michael was the centre of it," he said.

Michael's funeral will take place on Wednesday at Church of the Sacred Heart, Malahide.

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