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14th Mar 2024

“I’m going to miss you so much” – Charlie Bird’s wife pays beautiful tribute at service

Simon Kelly

Charlie Bird memorial

“What made me fall in love with Bird was his zest for life.”

The life of Charlie Bird was celebrated at a service in Dublin’s Mansion House on Thursday, March 14, after the former journalist passed away earlier in the week.

The broadcasting legend‘s wife Claire Mould addressed mourners with the couple’s beloved dog, Tiger, by her side and said that it was a “privilege” to look after him since his diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease in 2021.

“What made me fall in love with Bird was his zest for life. There was never a dull moment when you were with him,” she said.

“He always loved being the centre of attention, loved all the craic. I love you Bird, I’m going to miss you so much.”

She added that she was going to miss walking the Wicklow hills and drinking pints of Guinness with him and also paid tribute to Bird’s daughters, Orla and Neasa, saying she would not have been able to get through the past week without them.

(Rolling News)

“I’m going to miss you so much” – Charlie Bird’s wife pays beautiful tribute at service

Charlie Bird’s former RTÉ colleague and close friend Joe O’Brien also spoke at the service, where he called him a “national treasure.”

“He was literally a household name; loved and respected throughout the country,” O’Brien said.

“And in his last three years he moved, as Charlie himself said, from being a well-known journalist to being hailed as a heroic and tireless fundraiser and campaigner.”

Bird’s daughter Orla said it was almost impossible to know where family life ended and career started, mentioning that he would routinely get a phone call and be rushing out the door for a report.

“Today, though, we think back on the family memories,” she added. “The walks every Sunday that we were marched on from as long as I can remember and since we could walk, even before carried on a pouch on dad’s back.

“These Sunday walks were a non-negotiable family activity that continued, much to our horror, into our teenage years.”

Charlie Bird memorial service (Rolling News)

Bird’s youngest daughter, Neasa, said that her father’s motor neurone disease diagnosis was his “worst fear realised” and said he was “devastated and afraid”.

“Watching Dad grappling with that was heartbreaking, and as we frankly admitted to him on more than one occasion, all the more difficult for the very public way he chose to deal with it,” she said.

“But that was Dad’s way, and as much as we might have wanted to retreat with him to a more private space in the last few years, the tenacity of spirit and the perseverance which saw Dad achieve so much meant that he was always going to do it his way.

“In doing so, he inspired and gave solace to countless others, and that is no small thing. Rather, it is a very great thing.”

Charlie Bird will be buried on Inis Oirr on the Aran Islands, along with the staff he used to climb Croagh Patrick and rosary beads given to him by his friend Daniel O’Donnell.

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