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07th Mar 2024

Inspirational Toy Show star Saoírse Ruane has passed away aged 12

Anna Martin

Saoírse Ruane

Four years after her diagnosis, Toy Show star Saoírse Ruane has passed away

Saoírse served as an inspiration to the entire nation when she appeared on the Toy Show in 2020 at 8 years old, just months after she had her right leg amputated due to osteosarcoma – a rare form of cancer that affected her tibia.

Saoírse’s family confirmed the harrowing news of her passing this morning on Instagram.

Saoírse Ruane
Credit: Saoirseandmamma

Saoírse was the eldest child of Roseanna and Ollie Ruane, who described her as their “miracle,” after the couple conceived her naturally despite struggling with fertility issues.

Last year, the Athenry schoolgirl underwent a “fight of her life” operation to remove a tumour on her lung.

Her death notice reads: “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.

Saoírse Ruane
Credit: Saoirseandmamma

“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.”

Her funeral mass will be held at 2 pm this coming Sunday in St Peter’s and Paul’s Church, Kiltullagh.

Saoírse’s family has encouraged those who wish to donate in her memory to do so to the Galway Hospice. 

Saoírse became a public sweetheart after she appeared on the Toy Show.

She proudly showed off her prosthetic leg on the show, which had a picture of a unicorn on it, as former host Ryan Tubridy remarked on how “beautiful” it was.

The Galway girl and her bravery saw the founding of the Toy Show appeal which has raised millions of euro for children’s charities across the country.

During last year’s show, the fundraiser collected €3 million in donations for good causes.

We’re keeping her family in our thoughts during this harrowing time.


Saoirse Ruane