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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: -1°C
Sasko Lazarov Charlie Bird with his dog Tiger at Buswells Hotel in Dublin last week.
# climb with charlie
Charlie Bird has no fears about conquering Croagh Patrick ahead of April charity climb
The veteran broadcaster says a voice bank communication app has given him a whole new lease of life.

WITH HIS CHARITY climb up Croagh Patrick now just six weeks away, Charlie Bird says he has no worries about conquering the Mayo mountain.

Discussing the high-profile 2 April ascent today, the veteran broadcaster said he’s simply been too busy to rack up training miles in recent weeks. 

“My energy has taken me here,” Bird told reporters, adding that he has climbed the reek previously a handful of times. 

“Charlie is fit as a fiddle. Charlie would walk 14 kilometres a day,” Bird’s wife Claire Mould said. “He will literally be ahead of the whole party going up Croagh Patrick.”

Bird said he chose to climb Croagh Patrick because many of his great friends are from the west of Ireland including Tommy Gorman, Sean O’Rourke and Jim Fahy. 

He described RTÉ’s former Western Editor Fahy, who died last month, as his “best friend”.

The former RTÉ chief news reporter announced last October that he had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He subsequently announced the ‘Climb With Charlie’ fundraiser in January.

The initiative has now raised approximately €500,000 for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House. 

Bird said today that his voice has deteriorated in recent weeks and he has started using a voice bank communication app that was developed by Irish technology firm Marino Software.

“In the grim situation I am in, not knowing when my life is going to end, this technology devised by an Irish company has given me a whole new lease of life,” he said.

Bird has partnered with Dunnes Stores to help raise funds for the two charities.

“Every euro we get, and I mean every euro, will go to Pieta, Ireland’s national suicide prevention charity, and the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association, the only organisation of its kind providing care and support to people with this terminal illness their families friends and caregivers,” Charlie said.

A number of well-known figures will join Charlie on the Croagh Patrick climb and he is encouraging people from all over Ireland to support the campaign in their local area.

Charlie’s climb has been supported by a host of Irish celebrities including Bono, Gabriel Byrne, Imelda May, Daniel O’Donnell and Damien Dempsey.

Details can be found on climbwithcharlie.ie.

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