Dermot’s greatest attribute, though he had many, was his utter self-belief. Few people carry the confidence necessary to refer to themselves in the third person – and even fewer so unselfconsciously. Crucially, he was able to layer it upon copious levels of charisma and personal magnetism. To many people, he was great company – although they may concede he was someone best served in smaller portions. To others, he represented the perfect embodiment of a grade ‘A’ bullshitter but the truth always lay somewhere in between. It was generally the observer’s character – rather than Dermot’s own – that was more easily highlighted by either of these viewpoints. Dermot could be engaging and irritating in equal measure, an enigma of high-spiritedness that was impossible to contain entirely with any single definition.
Perhaps this distinction for indistinctness was most in evidence when it came to his often complex interactions with women. Charming and libidinous, he was no stranger to the pursuit of a bar-room conquest. He didn’t care that he polarised opinion; in his view that gave him a fifty per cent chance of success, which admittedly are better odds than most men can sustain. Far from restraining his patter when he felt his charms were repelling rather than attracting, he would actively intensify his idiosyncrasies in order to push her away sooner, clearing a path for someone of a friendlier polarity.
As is the wont of many in the professional age, he would earnestly attribute his success to “a process”, a methodology he claimed to be all his own, despite declining to specify of what it consisted. ‘Dermot-ology’, he proudly named it, untroubled by the connotation that, semantically, it’s a branch of science concerned chiefly with issues of the skin-deep variety. The ‘other’ fifty percent of those who heard this term were most likely to respond with the internally-voiced riposte “more like ’Dermot-itis’”