‘It was the loveliest gesture:’ Charlie Bird close to tears recalling special moment with Daniel O’Donnell

'That man in that moment did something really marvellous for me'
‘It was the loveliest gesture:’ Charlie Bird close to tears recalling special moment with Daniel O’Donnell

Former RTÉ reporter Charlie Bird got emotional recounting the story

Charlie Bird has spoken about a special moment he shared with Daniel O’Donnell that will be with him “until I die".

The former RTÉ journalist appeared on The Late Late Show on the same evening as country music legend Daniel O’Donnell back in December.

Charlie, who has recently been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease said that after the show ended, Daniel walked over to him and he placed something into his hand.

Recounting the story on The Mario Rosenstock Podcast, Charlie declined to say what exactly the country music singer gave him, but said it was “the loveliest gesture that any human being can do for another".

“That man in that moment did something really marvellous for me… What he did in that moment, it really lifted me.” 

“He knows what I’m talking about but no one else does. But I’ll tell you, that gesture will be with me until I die.” 

The beloved journalist also spoke on the podcast about the swell of support he has received from people all over Ireland following his diagnosis and said it has given him “a whole new perspective on life".

Charlie Bird heaped praise on singer Daniel O'Donnell
Charlie Bird heaped praise on singer Daniel O'Donnell

The former RTÉ Washington correspondent also spoke about Climb With Charlie — a climb taking place on Croagh Patrick on April 2 in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.

Daniel O’Donell is one of many well-known Irish faces joining Charlie for the climb, with CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan, former President Mary McAleese, Wexford hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald, CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan, architect Dermot Bannon and The Late Late Show's Ryan Tubridy also committing to the climb.

“There is somebody out there who will be listening to this podcast who will get a diagnosis of Motor Neurones, Parkinson’s, or they will have throat cancer, or anything,” Charlie told Mario Rosenstock.

“Just think of all the people who have terminal illnesses — I am climbing Croagh Patrick for every one of them.

“I’m also climbing Croagh Patrick in a way for everybody in this country, we have all gone through hell because of the pandemic.

Ryan Tubridy and Charlie Bird in the Wicklow hills
Ryan Tubridy and Charlie Bird in the Wicklow hills

“I want everybody to be involved,” he said, “and in the end two charities will benefit from it — the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.” 

Charlie said he has known people who have been in “a dark, dark place” and have lost their lives, so Pieta House is a charity he feels passionate about.

“In relation to Motor Neurones — I want to make sure that more money is put in for research, so maybe in a year’s time or two year’s time, something will happen to turn it from a terminal illness to a serious illness. It won't come in time for me, but I want that to happen.” 

You can listen to the full episode of The Mario Rosenstock Podcast on Appletarget="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> or Spotify.

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