Saoírse Ruane, Who Inspired Late Late Toy Show Appeal, Dies Aged 12

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Saoírse Ruane, the young girl who inspired the Late Late Show appeal, has died aged 12.

The young girl, who captured the hearts and inspired a nation died on Tuesday following a long illness.

In 2020, Ms Ruane spoke about her illness and her fight against cancer to then Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy, where she spoke about being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, an osteosarcoma tumour on her fibula in late 2019.

This treatment led to Saoírse who was just seven at the time, undergoing intensive chemotherapy, and the amputation of her right leg.

Saoírse's story from that night, inspired the Toy Show appeal, with her at the forefront of the campaign, which led to more than €6 million being donated within a matter of hours.

Following this, the annual appeal has raised €17.5 million in subsequent years.

This week, Saoírse's family confirmed the sad news regarding her death on social media, where they thanked their "lovely followers for holding Saoírse and us in your thoughts these past few weeks". 


"We think of you all today also as we know how much Saoírse was loved by the nation and the effect she had on so many people's lives", they added. "Cancer you stole her from us, the life we had and our dreams. Life will never be the same!". 

"the nation fell in love with her"

Former Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy said that he became instant friends with Saoírse, in his heartfelt tribute to her and her "beautiful family" on social media.

"A charity began because of her and with that she helped enrich and encourage the lives of thousands of children in Ireland", the presenter wrote. "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 want to thank them for sharing their extraordinary Saoírse with us all," he added. "The world is a poorer place without Saoírse, but I do hope that twinkle in her eye shines on and on". 

Saoírse Ruane will repose at her home tomorrow, with her remains being brought to St Peter and Paul's Church in Kiltullagh on Sunday. Her funeral mass will take place at 2pm, before being laid to rest in the local cemetery.

Her family have also asked for privacy at this time, and have said anyone who would like to donate in Saoírse's memory, can do so by supporting the Galway Hospice. 







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