Charlie Bird sheds tears of joy after Croagh Patrick climbed the €2million peak


Reflecting on a weekend of extraordinary scenes at Croagh Patrick, broadcaster Charlie Bird cried “tears of joy” after realizing his fundraiser would hit the €2million mark.

Thousands of supporters joined him on Saturday in Mayo as he fulfilled his ambition to scale the summit while highlighting the physical and mental challenges many face.

The former RTÉ chief news correspondent, 72, vowed to raise funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta following his ‘devastating’ diagnosis of motor neuron disease.

He said he “can’t believe what happened” on Saturday as nearly 200 climbs took place in Ireland and abroad as people showed their support for his campaign.

“My heart goes out to everyone who has supported Climb With Charlie across Ireland and abroad,” he said Irish Independent.

“Yes, we will reach donations of more than 2 million euros. But the real meaning of Saturday was an emotional outburst of joy across the country. The hand of friendship – wow. And I can’t believe it turned into a national holiday.”

He said he was “overwhelmed” by how many people rallied behind his cause to raise funds, while highlighting the physical and mental challenges people face every day.

In addition to the Croagh Patrick Challenge, there were nearly 200 separate Climb with Charlie fundraisers in Ireland, the US, South Africa, Australia and Spain.

In addition to his wife Claire, daughters Orla and Nessa and grandchildren, he has been joined by a host of familiar faces including Ryan TubridyDaniel O’Donnell, Barry McGuigan, Matt Molloy and Dermot Bannon.

Tubridy, the host of Charlie on the Late Late Show When he first vowed to climb Croagh Patrick, he said on Instagram the tally was “great news”.

“An amazing number from an extraordinarily generous country,” he said.

Upon reaching the top of Mayo Peak, Charlie and Claire lit five candles in the small chapel at the top, including one for his girlfriend, Vicky Phelan. He also lit them for anyone struggling with a terminal illness or their mental health, as well as the people of Ukraine and those involved in the fight against Covid.

In a subsequent speech, he said the support from across the country lifted him up in a way “that I can’t put into words.”

“But today isn’t about me — it’s about everyone who has a terminal illness,” he said.

His fundraising site will remain open for three months. Charlie Bird sheds tears of joy after Croagh Patrick climbed the €2million peak

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