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Tributes as inspirational Armagh teen photographer loses battle with cancer

Stan Conroy

A 13-year-old from Armagh who died of cancer has been described as "a wonderful boy with an incredible talent for photography".

Stan Conroy passed away at home on Wednesday, having used his final year to pursue his passion.

An emotional tribute from his family was posted on a Facebook page set up to showcase his considerable portfolio.

The message read: "We are devastated to give you the sad news that Stan died today.

"Stan is the brightest light in our lives and will be sadly missed by us, our families and all our friends.

"As you know he was a wonderful photographer and raised an incredible amount of money for charities supporting children like himself who are faced with cancer, and was very proud of this.

"In lieu of flowers please donate in his memory to Brain Tumour Research."

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Some of Stan's work

Some of Stan's work

Some of Stan's work

So far, over £2,700 has already been raised for the charity.

A family notice said he would be "lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his devastated" family Ian, Paula, Mollie, Olive and Ella.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the house and funeral service are to be kept private.

His interest for photography first started in January last year when the Cancer Fund for Children invited him for a residential at Daisy Lodge in Newcastle.

The children were asked to keep a photo diary for a month after which Stan found he couldn't put the camera down.

The quality of his work was all the more remarkable due to his poor eyesight and losing power in the right side of his body.

As well as displaying his work online, he had collections on display at The Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh and the LexIcon in Dublin.

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Stan's work on display at his exhibition

Stan's work on display at his exhibition

Stan's work on display at his exhibition

A message on The Market Place page called him "a wonderful boy with an incredible talent for photography".

"We were delighted to host an exhibition of his work at The Market Place in May 2019. His photographs showed the beauty in the everyday, the extraordinary in the ordinary and they were enjoyed by hundreds of visitors, amazed that work of such quality was created by someone so young.

"Sending my condolences to the Conroy family and all of Stan's family and friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time."

Leo Larizza, who runs the TLC foundation in aid of terminally ill children, was among many who passed on messages of support to the family.

"It was by chance that we met, our visit together may have been brief but the impact you had on me was ever lasting. You were very brave during your battle with cancer and were an inspiration to all that met you."

On the young photographer's Facebook page, more than 150 people who knew him through his photography and fundraising added tributes.

"Your talents and kindness, along with your constant bravery and great sense of humour and fun will never be forgotten," one said.

Another said he was like "a ray of sunshine" and that she would treasure a picture he had taken of Dublin power station.

One woman who worked with Stan in primary school remembered him as "an inspiration to everyone".

Commenting on his photography, one tribute said he "captures such a sense of childlike wonder which made us all pause and give time to the things we so often take for granted.

"You taught us something very special Stan Conroy. We will never forget you."

One person remembered him for "a cute smile, a sweet nature and always ready for a laugh even after all he'd been through".

"He's an inspiration to us all and I'm sure the energy source that is Stan will stay around for a long time to come," they added.

Belfast Telegraph