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TV star Dermot sleeps on streets wearing wife's tights

TV architect Dermot Bannon borrowed his wife's tights to keep warm while sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin.

And the Room To Improve star ended up describing the whole experience as "pretty awful".

He was on the streets to promote a fundraising scheme for the homeless.

"Sleeping out was a very sobering experience," said an exhausted Dermot after spending 12 hours on the cold, dark streets of the capital.

Each year, architects around Ireland raise funds for the Simon Community's homeless appeal by offering a one-hour consultation to householders for just €50.

To promote online bookings for the consultations, Dermot and seven colleagues slept on a footpath on King Street.

"Sleeping out helped to raise awareness about homelessness in Ireland. I met homeless people who hit rock bottom when they lost everything," he told the Herald.


"I got the chance to see the tremendous work done by so many outreach volunteers. It's like a parallel universe.

"I spent some time in the medical bus that drives around the city at night giving medical help to homeless people who are not able to keep medical appointments.

"One guy had a terrible hernia," he said.

"I was sleeping on and off in a sleeping bag on cardboard. I wore three jumpers, two jackets and three pairs of socks.

"I even wore a pair of tights belonging to my wife Louise and ended up ripping them. I haven't told her yet," he added.

"The homeless have a pretty awful life. They've reached the lowest ebb of their lives and often don't trust people."

The RTE architect said much of the money raised for the Simon Community's work is for counselling and guidance.