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mystery ailment Former RTÉ star Charlie Bird says he can't go on TV any more due to speech problems

Bird said on social media that he had to turn down two radio interview interviews today

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Charlie Bird

Charlie Bird

Charlie Bird

Former RTÉ star Charlie Bird reveals he can no longer guest appear on radio or TV because he is having speech problems.

The 72-year-old admits he is baffled by the mystery problem.

“Declined two radio interviews today on Don Tidey kidnap and shootout which I reported on at the time,” he announced on social media today.

“Why – over the past four months I’ve had major issues with my speech.

“Despite series of tests still don’t know what is going on. Thanks to my pals for their support. Stay safe.”

The development came as a surprise to one friend who occasionally bumps into Charlie when he’s walking his dog on Dun Laoghaire pier.

“He seemed just the same old Charlie Bird- and I didn’t notice any major problem when he was talking to me,” observed a pal who bumped into him in recent weeks.

“We were able to converse and chat away. Mind up it is breezy on the pier. If he had of had a stroke I would have noticed, if he had been in a wheelchair I would have noticed, but he seemed the same to me as he always was.”

Father-of-two Bird retired from RTÉ in 2012 after a near 40-year career with the state broadcaster.

The Dubliner was renowned during his career for doorstepping politicians, and had a direct contact with the IRA leadership during the height of the Troubles.

He and George Lee also won awards for breaking the story in 1998 of tax evasion at National Irish Bank.

In 2008 he moved to Washington, where he spent four years as RTÉ’s US correspondent.

Later he presented several documentaries, including ones on the Amazon, Haiti and the Arctic circle.

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He spent spells stepping in for Vincent Browne on his former TV3 show and also for Marian Finucane on her radio programme, before opting out of broadcasting in 2016.

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