DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland New Series

DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland, the show that rebuilds people’s lives by rebuilding their homes is back for a second series. The popular series presented by Baz Ashmawy returns to RTÉ One on Sunday April 3rd. The four part series will feature families based in New Ross, Meath, Santry and Waterford city.

Chief-motivator Baz Ashmawy is joined again by some familiar faces in designers Aoife Rhattigan of Restless. Design, Kerry Hiddleston of Hiddleston Interior Design, Peter Doneghan, garden designer, and Helena Ryan, health and safety officer. The DIY SOS team is also delighted to introduce the new build team led by Liam Flynn and Anthony Darby from Collen Construction and specialist carpenters Dan Kenny and Nicky McMahon. Together with an ever-increasing and amazing group of volunteers, national and local suppliers, Baz was a busy man corralling and motivating a hard working team through the pressures and challenges of a 9 day build!

Anne McLoughlin, Executive Producer DIY SOS: The Big Build said, “Kirby have been on board “DIY SOS The Big Build Ireland” since the first build in Tipperary in September, 2019 and the production team are extremely grateful to Kirby for the commitment and professionalism that their team have brought and continue to bring to the planning, design and the implementation stages of these very demanding, but also very rewarding builds. We really could not do these builds without the backing and leadership of individuals like Stephen Brennan, Site Manager & DIY SOS Lead, Mikey Ryan, Operations Director and the rest of the Kirby team, who commit to this for the benefit of very worthy and inspiring families.”

The first episode features the most challenging build to date for the DIY SOS team in Shanbough, just barely on the Kilkenny side of the River Barrow, which runs through New Ross. The build started in an empty field, which was gifted to Johnny Alyward by his elderly, bachelor uncle John. Johnny was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in November 2020 and discovered in early 2021 that he has the most aggressive type. He and his wife Lynn have two young boys together, one of whom is on the autism spectrum and for whom Lynn acts as full-time carer. They were living with Lynn’s older sons Cian and Aaron, in New Ross, when Johnny was diagnosed and they were left with no means of adapting or owning a house that would cater for him as the disease advances.

Uncle John decided it was time for Johnny to come home to his beloved Kilkenny and so he gave them a field on his land, adjacent to his own house. The DIY SOS team were more than happy to help Johnny, Lynn and their boys, as well as Johnny’s older kids from his previous marriage, Aaron, Colin and Kelley, to realise their dream to bring Johnny home and build him a house that will provide security and comfort for him and his family throughout his remaining days and into the future for his young family.

Presenter Baz said, “I was absolutely blown away when I met the Aylward family and am proud to now call them my friends. Anyone who knows Johnny, Lynn and the kids knows what I mean when I say this family is built on heart and laughs and every one of them was a pleasure to get to know. Johnny’s a born entertainer and an absolute charmer, and this most challenging build turned out to be a totally heart-warming experience for everyone involved.”

The second episode was filmed in Santry, North Dublin where the team of volunteers renovated the home of the Costello family. Young mother, Laura Costello was left suddenly paralysed following a rare birth event, which happened while giving birth to her fourth baby in June 2020.

The third episode was filmed in Longwood, Co. Meath, where Baz and the DIY SOS team met the Parsons family and set about building their much-needed extended home. There are three members of this young family with additional needs and their small semi-detached home was no longer practical or functional.

Finally for Episode 4 the team packed up their tools and headed to Waterford city to help Laura Sheridan, a nurse and brave mum of three. This former Nurse of the Year and Nursing Home Manager battled through Covid times before being diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Furthermore, Laura’s beautiful twin boys were also found to have a form of autism which requires constant supervision and care.

As a Series, DIY SOS is famous for bringing out the very best in people and the more we build, the more this becomes evident. Every volunteer, contractor and member of the team are constantly amazed by the massive amounts of good will and generosity that come forward on every single build, and the more episodes we create, the more we as a production team are struck by the power of the Irish community when it comes to solidarity for our neighbours in need.

The four-part series of DIY SOS is proudly sponsored by SSE Airtricity.

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The Alyward family, New Ross with Baz Ashmawy, Presenter of DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland
The Alyward family, New Ross with Baz Ashmawy, Presenter of DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland
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