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EXCLUSIVE! Dermot Bannon reveals the ‘incredible life lesson’ he learned from Michael Stokes

The architect recalled the "incredibly charismatic" 15-year-old during his IFTA acceptance speech

Photo by Michael Chester

Dermot Bannon was surprised but delighted when he won an IFTA for Room To Improve in the Factual category last night and he didn’t let his acceptance speech go by without mentioning the star of the series, the late Michael Stokes.

Dermot hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech but when he collected the award on stage he mentioned Michael which caused his voice to break.

Michael’s positivity and character charmed the nation when he appeared on the series earlier this year. The renovations in his Malahide home made the world of difference for the 15-year-old who tragically passed away last month.

What a privilege to have known this amazing young man

A post shared by Dermot Bannon (@dermotbannon) on

“I think Michael really touched people because the show kind of rose above his disabilities,” Dermot said thoughtfully.

The architect recalled his thoughts when the series producer first told him about Michael, “We have this guy out in Malahide and all I could think was helping somebody with disabilities. When I got to know him that all just disappeared, melted away!”

Dermot called the teenager “incredibly charismatic” and said he “was an absolute joy to be around”. “He taught me so much about being thankful. He was such a happy kid!”

“He just really embraced life. He lived in the moment, right in that moment, loved everything he did! And that’s something I’ll always take with me, an incredible life lesson to learn.”

Watch the full interview here.