Charlie Bird says he has "found peace" as he launches charity Croagh Patrick climb 4 months ago

Charlie Bird says he has "found peace" as he launches charity Croagh Patrick climb

The retired RTÉ reporter returned to the Late Late Show last night.

Charlie Bird has said he has "found peace" following his diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease.

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The retired RTÉ reporter made the comments as he returned to the Late Late Show to launch his "Climb with Charlie" event.

This will see him climb Croagh Patrick in Mayo on 2 April to raise funds for the charities Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta.

Speaking about the overwhelming response he received from the public following his Late Late appearance last month in which he opened up about his diagnosis, Bird said the support lifted him "like nothing else".

"The key thing is I have found peace. I really have," he told host Ryan Tubridy.

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"That's what's happened to me over the past few weeks... in my head, wherever, in my heart.

"When you meet people they lift you. I told you, at the beginning, I cried every day. I don't cry now.

"I'm so looking forward to climbing Croagh Patrick. People have been climbing it for 1,500 years.

"I now realise for me it may be the end of my journey. In one sense - I mean this - I'm not as afraid now as I was when I first got my diagnosis."

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Hoping to join Bird on the climb is cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan, who was due to appear in the Late Late studio on Friday but was too ill to attend.

"I'm really sorry I couldn't make it to the studio tonight to be with you to launch your 'Climb with Charlie' but I'm just not feeling well this week," she said in a pre-recorded video message.

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"I hope you get a huge amount of support after your appearance tonight for your climb in April and please God all going well, I'll be there you."

Though numbers for the climb will be limited, Bird is encouraging people to organise their own ‘Climb with Charlie’ event on 2 April to raise money for the charities close to his heart.

He also told Tubridy of his plan to light a candle in the church at the top of Croagh Patrick.

"When I get up into the church, I'm going to light a candle for everybody who has a terminal illness, for everybody in this country who has gone through the pandemic, for everybody who is in, what I call, a dark place," Bird said.

"We have to reach out to everybody."

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He also spoke out about the importance of raising funds for the motor neurone disease charity.

"As a charity, it's all voluntary. We need to raise money for them to try and save somebody's life maybe in two or three years," Bird said.

"It may not save mine, it won't, but we need the research, the work to try and save other people."

For more details about the climb, visit the event's website here.