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CHADWICKS PODCAST: Julian Benson and Dermot Bannon share update on their ‘Tranquillity House’ Project

CHADWICKS Group, Ireland’s leading builders’ merchants, has launched a brand-new episode of its ‘Under Construction with Chadwicks’ podcast series.

Now just over halfway into its fourth season, the latest episode, hosted by Donncha O’Callaghan, sees Donncha chat to Julian Benson and Dermot Bannon about an important project that they have been working on.

Choreographer and dancer Julian was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) when he was just two, and at the time, given a life expectancy of thirteen years.

Julian, through fitness and great nutrition has beaten all the odds, understands the difficulties firsthand that CF patients and their families can face when trying to find somewhere to stay during long hospital admissions.

Many CF patients need to travel from all over the country for treatment in both St. Vincent’s Hospital and Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin in Dublin, and the average hospital stay can be between ‘3-4 weeks at any time’.

To find a solution to which Julian says on the podcast, ‘is a necessity’, his charity, the Julian Benson Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, has purchased a 160-year-old Victorian house in Rathgar, which has stood derelict for many years.

The building, when renovations are complete, will be a place to stay for families with a loved one who is diagnosed with CF and requires long-term hospital treatment.

The project is being led by Julian and architect and TV presenter Dermot Bannon, who is responsible for the redesign of the building. When completed, it will be named ‘Tranquility House’.

Julian shares that his foundation has received ‘overwhelming’ support for ‘Tranquility House’, despite there being so many charities with causes that are all deserving of the Irish public’s support.

LATEST EPISODE: Season 4, Episode 6 of the Chadwicks podcast features Julian Benson Foundation’s Tranquility Project with Dermot Bannon

Having collaborators like Chadwicks on board to support with the renovation by supplying all building materials for the house, makes Julian and Dermot feel that ‘a bit of the load has been picked up’, which, as Donncha adds, ‘will always be lighter with more people’.

The charity does however, still need support to finish the project, and is asking members of the community to support in any way they can when the ‘Tranquility House’ opens.

During the episode, Julian and Dermot give insights into the challenges they have faced transforming a ‘period building that needs a lot of love and attention’ to a ‘home away from home’ for CF families.

Dermot also shares his thoughts on the number of buildings in Dublin which should be ‘reused better’, saying there are some ‘great’ derelict buildings in the city that are not being repurposed successfully like they are in other European cities such as Barcelona and Paris.

Dermot believes that ‘a lot of the city of Dublin has fallen into dereliction’ and that in Ireland, ‘buildings are let go’ instead of being renovated to live up to their full potential. He says it only takes twenty minutes to walk anywhere in Dublin city centre before you ‘hit dereliction’ and that while it is ‘tricky’ to restore a derelict building, it is ultimately worthwhile.

Dermot also speaks about the construction industry and believes that the government needs to do more to ‘protect skilled tradespeople’ especially at times when there isn’t work available for everyone.

He also believes that there is a common misconception about careers in the trades industry, and that more needs to be done at second level, particularly through subjects such as engineering and wood technology (‘woodwork’) to educate students about what a career in the trades can look like.

Dermot shares the many positive benefits of working in different trades, as well as the skills it requires, such as creativity, problem solving, and teamwork.

He feels that the government also need to ‘dispel the beliefs that some parents have about what education is’ and that completing third level education is a necessity, as it doesn’t suit all.

To listen to today’s episode, click here. The episode is the sixth of ten in the latest series of the award winning ‘Under Construction with Chadwicks’ podcast. All episodes from the fourth series of the podcast released to date are available to watch back here.

Further episodes of the series will launch in the coming weeks and will also be available to listen to at, as well as on Spotify, Apple, and all podcast streaming services in Ireland.

For more information about the Julian Benson Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and its ‘Tranquility House’ project, visit

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