The Fair City cast and crew, and the popular soap’s fans, were plunged into mourning this week with the sudden death of actor Karl Shiels (47).

Familiar to many as ‘Robbie Quinn’, his death comes just weeks after the the passing of Tom Jordan (‘Charlie Kelly’) also shocked people across the country.

Mr Shiels reportedly died in his sleep due to natural causes, with the actor still to appear in the hit show in coming weeks with his completed work.

Fair City writers are now expected to look at different ways that Robbie Quinn will exit the soap, ahead of their 30th anniversary special this September, in which Shiels’ character was to play a ‘huge role’.

He had been at the heart of several key plots within the Dublin-based soap, with his life in ‘Carrigstown’ just one aspect of a diverse, multifaceted career. His television and film work included roles in Peaky Blinders, The Clinic, Intermission, Batman Begins, and Veronica Guerin.

Paying tribute to Mr Shiels, his agent, Lisa Richard, said: “Karl was a uniquely talented individual, simultaneously intense, light-hearted, funny, sharp-witted, outspoken and intensely powerful as an actor, director and artistic director of the Theatre Upstairs and of his own company, Semper Fi, before that.

“Our hearts are broken but our thoughts are with his partner Laura and his family, his children and their mother Dearbhla.”

Shiels’s funeral will take place tomorrow at Our Lady Mother of the Church in Castleknock.