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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:19 UK

Death of award-winning TV writer

Cast of "The Passion".
Frank Deasy wrote "The Passion" which dramatised the last days of Christ

The Irish screen writer Frank Deasy, whose works include the award-winning finale of the Prime Suspect TV series, has died in hospital in Scotland.

The 49-year-old Emmy winner, who was originally from Dublin, had been suffering from liver cancer.

Earlier this week, Mr Deasy made an appeal on RTE radio for people to become organ donors.

The Irish Kidney Association said it had the biggest ever number of requests for donor cards after the broadcast.

Mr Deasy won his Emmy award in 2007 for Prime Suspect: The Final Act, which starred Helen Mirren.

He also wrote the The Passion, a BBC/HBO production which dramatised the final days of Jesus Christ and which featured Broughshane actor Jimmy Nesbitt in the role of Pontius Pilate.

Last Sunday, he wrote about his illness and his urgent need for a liver transplant in the Sunday Observer.

He described how he was "only one of thousands of patients on organ transplant lists in Britain, living on our own invisible death row".

Mark Murphy, the Chief Executive of the Irish Kidney Association, said the response to Mr Deasy's radio appeal had broken all records, with more than 7,500 people applying to become organ donors in the days following the candid interview.

He said the figure was double the number they usually received during their Organ Donation Awareness Week which they run in April each year.

Mr Murphy paid tribute to Frank Deasy's "selflessness" in raising the profile of organ donation and said the writer had tried to draw attention to the plight of all the people who are on transplant waiting lists.

Mr Deasy's literary agent, Anthony Jones, described him as a "wonderful, funny, tough and clever man".



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