Charlie Bird conferred with freedom of Wicklow

Charlie Bird conferred with freedom of Wicklow

CEO of Wicklow County Council Brian Gleeson and Cathaoirleach Tommy Annesley present Charlie Bird a sculptor at Council Buildings, Wicklow. Picture: Mick Kelly.

Broadcaster Charlie Bird has been conferred with the Freedom of County Wicklow.

The journalist was conferred by Wicklow County Council today in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of broadcasting and journalism and more recently, in his campaigning and raising funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.

Mr Bird was conferred at a special ceremony in the Council Chamber in the County Buildings in Wicklow and is the third recipient of the honour. 

Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis was the first to receive the honour in 2009, followed by world champion boxer Katie Taylor in 2011.

Speaking earlier today, he said: "I am deeply honoured to receive the Freedom of Wicklow, following in the footsteps of Daniel Day-Lewis and the great Katie Taylor. 

"I am accepting this amazing award on behalf of everyone across Ireland and abroad who helped to make ‘ClimbwithCharlie’ the outstanding success it was. 

"So thank you to the people of Wicklow for extending the hand of friendship."

Charlie Bird who recieved the freedom of Wicklow with his wife his wife Claie and faithful dog Tiger
Charlie Bird who recieved the freedom of Wicklow with his wife his wife Claie and faithful dog Tiger

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Tommy Annesley, said: “We would like to congratulate Charlie and commend him on all the tireless fundraising work he has carried out over the past year. 

"It is clear the impact you have had on so many and it’s fitting that we bestow this honour on you today.”

Wicklow County Council Chief Executive Mr Brian Gleeson said it is a privilege to pay tribute to Mr Bird. 

"Charlie has brought honour to not only himself and his family but to the people of Wicklow.”

The commemoration piece presented to Mr Bird was created by Wicklow-based artist and blacksmith Michael Calnan of Calnan & Anhoj forge and gallery in Blessington.

Charlie Bird who recieved the freedom of Wicklow
Charlie Bird who recieved the freedom of Wicklow

The sculpture is a symbol of the journalist's long and fruitful career in the world of media as well as his personal connection to Co Wicklow. 

A bronze quill, handcrafted from forged bronze and mounted on a base of rough-hewn granite, references Mr Bird's work as a highly respected news correspondent and documentarian. 

A bronze eagle’s talon symbolises the great physical and moral courage that he has shown throughout his life and career. 

And a bronze key represents the Freedom of the County of Wicklow as awarded to him today.

A native of Sandymount, Co Dublin, Mr Bird now lives in Ashford, Co Wicklow, with his wife Claire and dog Tiger.

In recent years, Mr Bird was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He raised nearly €3.4m for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House with his recent climb of Croagh Patrick in Mayo.

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