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02nd Mar 2024

Charlie Bird admits ‘death is around the corner’ in emotional interview

Simon Kelly

Charlie Bird

The former broadcaster said he is not afraid of dying.

Charlie Bird has admitted that “death is just around the corner” in an emotional new interview.

The former RTÉ journalist spoke to Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio One on Saturday, telling the presenter that, despite his debilitating disease, he still lives every day as if it were his last.

“My view on life has completely changed,” he told Brendan. “Live every day as if it was your last and always extend the hand of friendship. Every one of us will pass, so I want to extend the hand of friendship to anyone who is in a dark place.”

Charlie Bird admits ‘death is around the corner’ in emotional interview

The 74-year-old was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in 2021, and has seen his condition worsen in recent months.

“I have a terminal illness and I know my death is just around the corner,” he admitted in the interview over the weekend. “I am not afraid of dying. I have had a great life.”

Despite admitting that he can’t leave the house anymore due to losing the use of his legs, Bird positively reflected on his life as a journalist and the small things that make life worth living.

“As RTE’s chief news correspondent, I got to work on the biggest stories both at home and abroad. I feel very privileged that my career in journalism took me to all these places.”

My great group of friends give me joy,” he said. “Unfortunately, I can’t leave the house anymore and we’re waiting for a wheelchair-friendly car now which Claire is picking up next week.

“The mobility in my legs went three weeks ago, and to be honest, it was the worst feeling not being able to walk anymore. Previous to that, I was able to get into our car, but that is not possible anymore.”

Charlie also gave a special mention to his furry companion Tiger, saying he would be “lost without him”

He added, “his love is unconditional whenever he sees me.

“He is so happy to see me. He sleeps in our bed and there is nothing nicer than the warmth of your dog lying beside you.”

Bird shared on Twitter last week that he is “still hanging in” and will be leading a walk in Wicklow for Samaritan volunteers.

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Charlie Bird