A Letterkenny man will be hoping to carve himself out a prize in tonight’s final of The Big DIY Challenge.
Fergal Megannety’s beehive inspired by a Russian dacha has secured him a place among the last contestants competing for a first prize of €10,000.
Well known as a photographer, Fergal is also a DIY enthusiast who, among other projects, has renovated his 160-year-old home at Bonagee from top to bottom.
In his spare time he also builds and sells beehives and it was this past-time that inspired judges of The Big DIY Challenge to put him through to tonight’s final.
The idea for Fergal’s dacha – a Russian summer house – came from a trip he and his wife Svetlana made to Russia. There they stayed with her uncle Boris and, impressed by his dacha, the Letterkenny man decided to recreate something similar in his back garden.
After spotting an advertisement for The Big DIY Challenge, he decided to apply.
“We had ten days from beginning to end to create it and we were supplied with a camera by the production company. Then we had to video it and submit three videos each day for ten days,” said Fergal of the process that led to him securing a place in tonight’s televised final.
Struck by his attention to detail and the miniature roof tiles which required the steadiest of hands, judge Jennifer Byrne said she was putting him through to the last stage because of his “meticulous work, attention to detail and perfect execution”.
In the final Fergal will be up against a man who has created a crescent moon firepit, a lady who has redecorated her bedroom in a Provence style and several other equally impressive projects.
But Fergal and Svetlana will be hoping that their dacha – which is now fully functional as a beehive – will catch the eye of the judges one last time.
“I’m hoping that I win the small project prize, I don’t think I’ll win the big one because there is some fantastic competition there. But I’d be happy if I won the small one.”
As to whether he would do it again, Fergal said he would definitely consider it.
“It’s been ten days of graft but it has been great fun. Svet did some of the decoration, the colour scheme and the detailed painting so she’s been very involved too.
“It’s been a nice project at a time when there hasn’t been much to do because of lockdown.”
Tonight’s final goes out on RTÉ One this evening at 8.30pm. You can also vote for your favourite entry by logging on to http://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/living/2021/0423/1211611-the-big-diy-challenge-viewers-choice-awards-week-1/.