Flying high | 

Charlie Bird has 'mad idea' to raise money through parachute jump with Mick McCarthy 

"There is an interesting story to this but that is for another time. I am just looking for one sponsor to make it happen"
Charlie with Tiger

Charlie with Tiger

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Charlie Bird has said he has come up with a "mad idea” to raise even more money for charity by parachuting out of a plane with former Irish football manager, Mick McCarthy.

Sharing the news with his followers, the former RTE reporter whose Climb with Charlie raised over €3 million earlier this year, said it was not a joke.

"I have come up with a mad idea and this is not a joke," he said. "Doing [a] parachute jump in July with a person I met recently."

Mr Bird said that he will be teaming up with Mick McCarthy to complete the parachute jump this July for charity.

They are currently looking for a sponsor for the event, he added.

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With his dog, Tiger on his lap, he said: “There is an interesting story to this but that is for another time. I am just looking for one sponsor to make it happen. Again, all money raised will go to charity.

“Myself and Tiger want to say thanks. Let’s all continue to extend the hand of friendship.”

Mr Bird also offered a “big thanks again”, while revealing that good friend and hotelier, John Fitzpatrick will be adding the additional €100,000 to the total in what he described as a "such a kind gesture".

"Yes, all of you out there helped to raise a staggering over three million euro," he said.

"And more good news, my great pal John Fitzpatrick, the hotelier in New York is about to add another one hundred thousand euro to the total which could soon be heading for three and a quarter million euro."

As part of the Climb with Charlie fundraising efforts, Mr Bird took on Croagh Patrick with over 150 additional climbs taking place simultaneously across the country on the day.

The former RTÉ journalist was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) last year and organised the climb in order to raise funds and awareness for Pieta House and the Irish Motor Neurone Association.

He was joined by hundreds of well-wishers and some of Ireland’s best known faces while hundreds of other planned climbs and fundraisers occurred nationwide following Charlie’s call to arms.

The ‘Climb with Charlie’ hikes took place not only in Ireland but also in the US, South Africa, Australia and Spain. Around 10,000 supporters participated as he drew attention to the physical and mental battle people with motor neurone face.

More than 1,300 people raised funds online at more than 240 different climbs on April 2.

Mr Bird also revealed recently that his upcoming memoir named Time and Tide will be released this autumn.

The veteran broadcaster said the book has been written by his “great pal” the former RTÉ news editor Ray Burke and is being published by Harper Collins.

In a message posted online, Mr Bird wrote: “Published by Harper Collins and written by my great pal Ray Burke, who was my News Editor in RTÉ and had to put up with me for many years it will be released in the autumn. Thanks Ray.”

According to the bookseller WH Smith, Time and Tide will be published on October 13.


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