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Charlie Bird Sasko Lazarov/

Service to celebrate life of Charlie Bird to be held at Dublin's Mansion House tomorrow

The former RTÉ journalist and charity campaigner died on Monday aged 74.

A SERVICE TO celebrate the life of former RTÉ journalist and charity campaigner Charlie Bird, who died on Monday aged 74, will take place tomorrow at Dublin’s Mansion House. 

The service will be held in the Round Room of the Mansion House at midday. 

“Died peacefully in the wonderful care of Wicklow Hospice with his family at his side,” his death notice on says. 

“Sadly missed by his beloved wife, Claire, loving daughters Orla and Neasa, little wingman Tiger, his sons-in-law Rob and Aidan, adored grandchildren Charlie, Hugo, Abigail, Harriet and Edward, his extended family, former colleagues and a wide circle of friends both at home and abroad. Remembering also Orla and Neasa’s late mother Mary,” it says. 

President Michael D Higgins led tributes yesterday describing Bird as a “truly remarkable man driven by a deep sense of social justice”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Charlie Bird was a “hugely talented journalist and an inspirational person, who will be sadly missed” in a statement today.

Speaking to reporters while in the US, Varadkar described Bird as a “genuinely special person”.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he was deeply saddened by the news, lauding Bird’s “courage, generosity of spirit and dignity” while facing his illness.

Bird, who retired from Montrose in 2012 as Chief News Correspondent, spent almost four decades reporting for RTÉ, having joined as a researcher in current affairs in 1974. 

He moved to the news department in 1980.

One of the first major stories he reported on was the Stardust tragedy in which 48 people, most of them teenagers, were killed at the Stardust disco in Dublin in 1981.

He reported on many major events throughout the Troubles and the peace process in Northern Ireland and for years was the point of contact between the broadcaster and the IRA. 

In 1998, together with George Lee, he exposed corrupt practices and tax evasion at National Irish Bank.

Later in his career he took on the role of Washington Correspondent, before returning to Ireland to cover national news. 

He was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2021, news he described as a “nightmare”.

He climbed Croagh Patrick in 2022 as part of a nationwide campaign, and later confirmed the initiative had raised over €3 million for the charities.

Lillian McGovern, chief of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, told the News at One that the money Bird helped raised for the organisation was of “huge significance”. 

“We employed another nurse around the country, we invested money in research and we worked with Charlie as to where the money went and people with MND truly, truly appreciate that practical help,” McGovern said.

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