Brendan to the rescue - New show to help you flee the nest

IT’S no secret that young adults in Ireland are struggling to get on the property ladder, with spiralling rents and limited housing supply meaning many young people still live at home with their parents well into their 20s – but fashion designer and TV presenter Brendan Courtney is here to help.

The Tallaght native, who has fond memories of spending his childhood summers playing with his friends on the green in Kingswood, is looking for young people who are still living at home but who want to strike out on their own to appear in the upcoming series of his RTE show ‘This Crowded House’.

Brendan Courtney with Palmerstown Family from last series

Brendan, who is a past pupil of Moyle Park College in Clondalkin, is also well-known for his fashion label, Lennon Courtney, which he works on with his business partner Sonya Lennon.

Brendan took some time out to speak to The Echo about when he first moved out of his parents’ home, what impact ‘This Crowded House’ has had on former participants, and why his ten-year design partnership with Sonya Lennon is still going strong.

What age were you when you moved out of your parents’ home?

I moved to London for a summer when I was 17 – I did my Leaving Cert when I was 16 and I was a bit of an early developer. I moved back in with my parents for a little while, then rented a house in Kingswood with a friend, and then I moved into a flat in Portobello.

What differences do you think there are between when you moved out of your parents’ home, and young people who are trying to do the same now?

There was choice when I moved out of home, now there’s no choice and no supply at all. It’s a nightmare for people when they’re trying to get their own independence.

What surprised you most when you filmed the first series of ‘This Crowded House’?

How little supply there is, and just how bad the housing market is. We were turning up for viewings and there was a queue of 120 people. Another thing I wasn’t aware of was how ‘cowboy’ private rental is, and how unregulated it is.

What impact do you think being on ‘This Crowded House’ had on the last series’ participants?

They were all in their mid-20s, but they hadn’t learned how to budget properly. The process they went through with our financial expert was really helpful – I saw a lot of [the participants] grow up during that process. I found myself feeling sympathetic towards them, and they were all great. It’s a rite of passage to move out.

What would you say to anyone who’s considering applying to be on the second season of the show?

It can only benefit you, and it can only help you. You’ll learn how to budget and how to manage your finances. And I’m good craic too!

Your design partnership with Sonya Lennon, where you both design pieces under your Lennon Courtney brand which is available in Dunnes Stores, is reaching the ten-year mark. What have you learned about fashion design in that time?

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that what we sell to a woman who wears Lennon Courtney is confidence. Our clothes are our friends, not our enemies, and they should make you feel great. The biggest thing for me was listening to our customers and looking at what they like. [Sonya and I] listen to each other, we’ve lasted so long because we listen to and respect each other. We have a great working relationship.

If you are a young person, or the parent of a young person who is still living at home and you would like to appear on the upcoming series of ‘This Crowded House’, then you can apply at by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 01 7088181.

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