kindness of strangers | 

Charlie Bird thanks women who comforted him in Dunnes Stores after break down

He said the crying moments are a symptom of his Motor neurone disease but that the “the hand of friendship” helps him get through

Charlie and Tiger

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Charlie Bird has thanked strangers who comforted him in Dunnes Stores after he broke down in tears.

Explaining that he had one of his “awful crying moments”, the former RTE man revealed how he was comforted by two women while out shopping in Dublin.

He said the crying moments are a symptom of his Motor neurone disease but that the “the hand of friendship” helps him get through them.

In a post on Twitter, he wrote: “This is a difficult tweet for me to send, but I want to thank the two ladies who comforted me in Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt this afternoon.

“I was having one of my awful crying moments, which is a symptom of my MND. The hand of friendship helped me so much.”

His message came just days after the former RTE presenter admitted he is “really struggling” at the moment.

The star – who was diagnosed with MND last year – admitted that a year ago he didn’t think he would see his 73rd birthday tomorrow.

But, thanking his followers for their continued support, Charlie said he was looking forward to Christmas and seeing rock legend Bruce Springsteen play at the RDS next May.

He said: “I am really struggling at present and emotionally. This time last year I didn’t think I would make my 73rd birthday but just over a week to go I will.

“Roll on Christmas and Brucie thanks everyone the love is amazing," he added.

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Charlie's followers flooded the comments section with kind messages and well wishes following his latest health update.

One said: “In my thoughts, Charlie. All of Ireland and beyond on your side.”

Another added: “Keep strong Charlie... you are an inspiration to many... I hope you find strength during your struggles.”

Charlie also thanked those who have been “extending the hand of friendship”.

In a recent tweet, he noted that while on a break away, he and his wife Claire and much-loved dog, Tiger, had been shown kindness by strangers that moved him to tears.

“Sometimes I wish I had a camera with me. Claire and Tiger and I are taking a break and everywhere I go the kindness I am being shown by strangers is amazing, sometimes I end up crying but they are tears of joy,” he said.

Last month, Charlie passed two cheques - totalling almost €3.4 million - to Pieta House and the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association following the Climb with Charlie fundraiser.

Charlie climbed Croagh Patrick on April 2. He raised funds and awareness for motor neurone disease.

On the day, Charlie said: “As I have admitted before, I cry an awful lot, and that is a side effect of my illness. When I was diagnosed last October, I was so scared. But the kindness I have been shown by every one of you has lifted my spirits and every one of you who has supported Climb with Charlie.

“You have all brought me to a much happier place,” he stated.

Promising fans that he will “continue to extend the hand of friendship,” Charlie shared that “no one knows what is around the corner”.

He added: “Last October, I was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and I have had many dark days since then. But remarkably, here this morning, is one of the happiest days of my life.”

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