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lifesaving Former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird to lead 2022 Wicklow Darkness into Light walk

Mr Bird (72) will reportedly lead the fundraising walk as it returns to Bray for an in-person event on the morning of Saturday, May 7

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Charlie Bird at the base of Croagh Patrick in April. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Charlie Bird at the base of Croagh Patrick in April. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Charlie Bird at the base of Croagh Patrick in April. Picture: Gerry Mooney

Charlie Bird is expected to lead the Darkness into Light walk in Wicklow this year.

The former RTÉ broadcaster (72) will reportedly lead the fundraising walk as it returns to Bray for an in-person event on the morning of Saturday, May 7.

The Bray event is being organised this year by Bray Lions Club, who said that Mr Bird is expected to lead the walk in the town.

Darkness into Light is organised by the charity Pieta, which provides lifesaving support services for those in suicidal distress and who have been bereaved through suicide.

It will return with organised walks in over 17 countries across five continents, beginning in darkness at sunrise and continuing through to dawn, symbolising the journey from despair to hope.

The latest figures show that in 2021 alone the 24/7 Pieta Helpline received nearly 100,000 calls and texts - close to 2,000 crisis calls and texts each week.

In response, each month Pieta provides over 4,000 hours of suicide and self-harm crisis therapy. Each day, seven additional teenagers come to Pieta for one-to-one support.

Last month Mr Bird climbed Croagh Patrick for his ‘Climb with Charlie’ event to raise money for Pieta House and the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association following his diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease.

The event saw hundreds of people taking part in climbs and walks around the country.

Mr Bird came up with the idea of climbing Croagh Patrick while on The Late Late Show last year.

At the time, he admitted that he did not know how long he had to live, but said he will continue to extend the hand of friendship.

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“People have been so generous to the Climb With Charlie. I’ve been touched by incredible kindness. There has been amazing volunteers who have helped out,” he said.

A number of well-known faces from the worlds of sport, music and entertainment have come together to launch this year’s Darkness into Light event, including broadcaster Grainne Seoige, musician Tolu Makay and former Dublin GAA player Philly McMahon.

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