Diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year, Charlie Bird raises over €2 million for charities in his climb of Croagh Patrick.
The 72-year-old former Chief News Correspondent for RTE News and Current Affairs announced in October last year that he had developed motor neurone disease. In an attempt to raise awareness, Charlie Bird raises over €2 million for charities.
He announced his idea ‘Climb for Charlie’ last year. A campaign in which he and other notable figures would climb Croagh Patrick in order to raise money and awareness for the condition.
This past weekend, he undertook the task with thousands of other supporters at his side. As a result, Charlie Bird raises over €2 million for charities in the process.
Raising money for two charities − raising awareness
Charlie Bird decided to start the ‘Climb for Charlie’ campaign after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease last year.
As a result of his climb of Croagh Patrick in County Mayo at the weekend, Bird, along with the support of thousands of others, raised this massive sum to support a couple of different charities.
These include the Irish Motor Neurone Association, as well as Pieta, Ireland’s national suicide prevention charity.
Bird has started something incredible with this journey, adding an immense amount of awareness to the condition that afflicts him and many others, as well as those suffering from mental illness.
In an incredible feat, many showed up to support him.
Lots of support – an emotional journey
The former journalist and broadcaster had thousands of supporters show up both physically and in spirit.
Through the campaign’s website, he encouraged people who couldn’t join the hike up Croagh Patrick to join them in spirit, either in a walk closer to home or through their own donations.
Supporters of Bird and Pieta outside of County Mayo climbed Carrauntoohil in County Kerry in a display of solidarity.
It is incredible to see how the campaign was supported all throughout Ireland as well as the rest of the world.
Notable figures Barry McGuigan, Matt Molloy of The Chieftans, and The Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy were among many famous faces who turned up on the day to show support.
A beautiful day for it – the sun god’s shone
On the day that Charlie Bird raises over €2 million for charities, the usually questionable Irish weather stayed rain-free for the most part throughout the ascent as the hikers reached the peak overlooking Connacht’s beautiful Clew Bay.
The day was uplifted by music at the summit of Croagh Patrick. An Air Force helicopter had assisted in airlifting instruments and technical equipment to the top of the mountain. Matt Malloy was sure to carry his own flute, though.
Donegal musician Daniel O’Donnel acted as hype man on the day, encouraging people in the final steps to the summit. He sang a Bruce Springsteen song and the Clew Bay Pipe Band played ‘Irish Heroes’, topping off an already beautifully emotional day.
You can find more information about Charlie Bird’s journey here.