In 2021, Charlie Bird was diagnosed with motor neurone disease – a man whose voice was so synonymous with his career faced losing it completely. Yet knowing he had just a short time left with family and friends, what emerged was a great sense of resilience and motivation to take advantage of every moment.
Here, Charlie reflects on his life and phenomenal broadcast career through the lens of his diagnosis, as he ponders the big questions and takes stock of the small moments that we so often overlook. Written over the course of 2022 as his health deteriorated, with the help of long-time friend and fellow journalist Ray Burke, this is a candid and unforgettable story about the triumph of the human spirit and, ultimately, what it means to be alive.
Charlie Bird is one of Ireland’s best-known and beloved broadcasters and journalists, with a stellar career spanning almost forty years. In 2021, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, and he has since worked tirelessly for charities across Ireland to increase awareness about this illness, while raising millions of euros for organisations such as Pieta and the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Ray Burke is from Galway and a graduate of University College Galway. He was News Editor of the Irish Press and Chief News Editor of RTÉ News. He is the author of critically acclaimed books on the Irish Press and on James Joyce. Since retiring from RTÉ News he has written for the Century Ireland website and for the Irish Times and the Connacht Tribune.