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Charlie Bird sets date for Croagh Patrick climb in aid of motor neuron disease charity

'If I am still mobile in the spring I will climb Croagh Patrick to highlight motor neurone disease and other terminal illnesses. You’re all invited to join me. I love you all'
Charlie Bird

Charlie Bird

Clodagh Meaney

Charlie Bird has set a date to climb Croagh Patrick in Co. Mayo.

The former RTE Broadcaster plans to climb the 764 m mountain in aid of The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.

Taking to Twitter, Charlie revealed the planned pilgrimage will take place on Saturday March 26th.

“If I am still mobile in the spring I will climb Croagh Patrick to highlight motor neurone disease and other terminal illnesses,” he said in a tweet, adding: “You’re all invited to join me. I love you all.”

Bird’s wife Claire and his “hero” CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan will also join him on the hike.

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Vicky revealed that after the pair met for tea and scones she was roped into the voyage.

“The tea & scones have been had. The conversation flowed,” she said of the meeting.

"We laughed. We cried. We hugged (apologies in advance to the Covid brigade!) We made plans to meet again.”

"I have also been roped in to climb Croagh Patrick with Charlie & Claire and the whole of Ireland, it appears."

Taking to Twitter, journalist and disability rights activist Joanne O'Riordan offered to join the hike too.

She took to Twitter yesterday, posting: "Hey @charliebird49/ @PhelanVicky I hear you are going for a hike up Croagh Patrick! Room for a limbless girl? My brother says he will carry me on his back if he has to #WithYouAllTheWay."

Responding to Joanne’s offer, Vicky wrote: "Ahhhh Joanne, we would be delighted to have you join us," to which Joanne said: "Just give me a time and date, and I'll be there."

Charlie and Vicky met after he expressed his wish to chat to his “hero”, 47-year-old Phelan.

“I would love to talk to one of my heroes Vicky Phelan…what she said this weekend was most interesting,” he shared.

Vicky Phelan and Charlie Bird

Vicky Phelan and Charlie Bird

It came as Vicky appealed to the government to allow terminally ill people, such as herself, to be able to die with medical assistance if they so wished.

The mother of two responded to Charlie, and said she would be “delighted” to speak with him.

“Ahhhh Charlie, sure I would only be delighted to chat to you. We have a lot in common...unfortunately! I will DM you with my details,” she said.

Charlie was diagnosed with motor neuron disease earlier this year.

He told his Twitter followers in September that he wasn’t well, saying: “Declined two radio interviews today on Don Tidey kidnap and shoot out which I reported on at the time.”

“Why - over the past four months I’ve had major issues with my speech. Despite series of tests I still don’t know what is going on,” he added

A month later he revealed his motor neurone disease diagnosis.

“Recently I spoke about issues with my voice. I now know why. I have been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Thanks to all my pals for their amazing support. And the kindness from so many people,” he tweeted.


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