Builder insists RTÉ show include 50:50 Ukrainian & Irish housing

“I’m afraid I have to draw a line.”

That’s what builder Derek Blighe said after he claims RTÉ asked him to participate in their programme “DIY SOS.”

The programme, which RTÉ says is all about “rebuilding people’s lives by rebuilding their homes,” returned for a second season this year, with the public broadcaster reportedly working on a Ukrainian refugee special in Ireland.

“RTÉ phoned me today about a DIY SOS TV show they were doing,” claimed Blighe via a Telegram post.

“The show was a Ukrainian refugee special for my local area. I had volunteered to help renovate houses, but I had a small condition.”

Allegedly speaking to an RTÉ representative on the phone, he continued.

“[A few of my builders] were wondering if it was possible to house half Ukrainian refugees, and half homeless Irish,” he said.

During a phonecall with what he says was one of the programme’s staff, the reported RTÉ representative said that she was “sorry, but that’s way above my head.”

Blighe replied that he understood, but asked “How do you think management would feel about it?” adding that “Some of the lads are adamant that that’s the only way they’d be prepared to do the work.”

The alleged RTÉ staffer simply reiterated that the matter was “out of her hands,” saying “If you’d like to do it you’re more than welcome, but if you don’t want to do it because of our own beliefs we respect that as well.” The woman added that Ukrainian refugees had been through a lot of hardship because of the war with Russia.

Blighe agreed, but added “Obviously you’re aware that 115 Irish people died on the streets of Dublin last year. So we are in dire need of help as well.”

“We would only be interested if you were prepared to do half Ukrainian, half Irish,” he said.

“I’m afraid I have to draw the line, when Irish people are in such dire need of housing, and RTÉ can find the means to do up houses for Ukrainians, but have made absolutely no effort for Irish people.”

The alleged RTÉ rep replied that the programme was on a voluntary basis, and that there wasn’t money being put into the housing.

“Well, you’re getting a lot of publicity out of it,” said Blighe, after which point the conversation wound to a halt.

Gript reached out to RTÉ for their reaction to the video, which amassed almost 70,000 views on Twitter.

As of the writing of this article, however, the state broadcaster has not replied or given comment.




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