Love of life | 

Vicky Phelan praises Charlie Bird for 'sharing so openly' on Late Late Show

'I have no doubt that you brought comfort to so many'
Campaigner Vicky Phelan on RTÉ's 'The Late Late Show'

Campaigner Vicky Phelan on RTÉ's 'The Late Late Show'

Alan O'Keefe

Vicky Phelan has praised Charlie Bird for speaking publicly of his illness and of his hopes and fears on the Late Late Show on Friday.

The mother of two, who has spoken publicly of her own battle with terminal cancer, took to Twitter on Saturday night to praise the retired RTÉ news reporter for his frank and moving testimony on the show.

He and his wife Claire spoke with Ryan Tubridy about his diagnosis of motor neurone disease. He told the host he was looking forward to visiting Vicky Phelan on Monday.

Vicky Phelan sent a public message to Charlie on Twitter yesterday, stating: “You were so vulnerable sharing so openly the terror of living with a disease that you know is going to take everything from you – your voice, your swallow, your mobility…yet your love of life, family and friends shone through.

Charlie Bird and Claire Mould pictured on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy. Picture Andres Poveda

Charlie Bird and Claire Mould pictured on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy. Picture Andres Poveda

“I have no doubt that you brought comfort to so many and I really hope that you get comfort from all the love and support that is being sent your way from all over Ireland.

“Looking forward to meeting you and Claire on Monday.”

Charlie also wrote a statement on Twitter on Saturday about his appearance on the show. He said: “Yes, I cried this morning but they were tears of joy at the overwhelming support I received for my Late Late Show appearance.

“If I am still mobile in the Spring, I will climb Croagh Patrick to highlight MND and other terminal illnesses. You’re all invited to join me. I love you all.”

The retired broadcaster, who is 72, told Mr Tubridy his final wish was that Irish people look after everybody who is ill and in our healthcare system.

He said on the show: “There are thousands of people waiting for hospitals, operations, for everything. They are all facing the same challenge in a way as me. All I ask is that as a country, as a people, we make sure that we look after everybody who is here and sick.

“It would be my final wish that we do that as a country for everybody.”

He said doctors told him he may have one to three years left to live but Charlie told Mr Tubridy that he did not think he would be alive to see another Christmas.

Asked if he considered assisted suicide, he said he was “struggling” with that issue. He referred to raising money for the suicide prevention charity Pieta House and how he once helped a young man who was abused as a child not to choose suicide.

“If we see someone in a dark place, we should put our arm around it but I want to meet Vicky, talk about lots of things,” he said.


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