Tuesday 17 September 2019

'I'm bawling' - Home Rescue viewers moved by 'beautiful friendship' between pensioner Austin and flatmate Muhammad

Home Rescue: Roisin, Muhammad, and Austin
Home Rescue: Roisin, Muhammad, and Austin
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Viewers were moved to tears on Tuesday night as the 'beautiful friendship' between a pensioner and his Pakistani flatmate unfolded on an episode of Home Rescue.

The RTE series sees architect Roisin Murphy, builder Peter Finn, and their crew help people to revamp their homes and they faced their biggest challenge yet with the home of Austin (83) and his flatmate Muhammad (24).

The house was in a state thanks to the 'work' of rogue builders who abandoned it mid-renovation.  The team had to assemble extra crew members to tackle the job and give the friends a home that worked for them.

Muhammad, a student from Pakistan, works in a store in Dublin and that's where he first met Austin four years ago.  They began chatting and soon Austin was visiting every day. 

Sometimes, Muhammad revealed, Austin would be waiting outside before he even opened up.  The young man said he felt like Austin was a granddad to him.

"I had that kind of a feeling for him," he said.  "He's all on his own and that really hit me hard.  I was thinking of a person living alone at this age when they need the most support from the community.  He'd been living about 40 years on his own.

"Even if you're like, let's say going to the town and all, but when you come home there's no sound. There's nothing you'd be looking forward to."

Muhammad said it's been "brilliant" living with Austin, while Austin said Muhammad is "great company, marvellous" adding, "he does everything.  He gets all my messages, washes the machine, cleans the house for me. He was a godsend!"

Unfortunately, Muhammad returned from a holiday in Pakistan to find that the builders had taken advantage of Austin, taking €30,000 from him but leaving the house in dissaray.

Roisin and Peter had a massive task on their hands, but ultimately managed to give Austin and Muhammad back a new, improved version of their home.

Viewers were hugely moved by the show:

You can watch the episode on RTE Player HERE

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