Charlie Bird had “tears of joy” in his eyes as he lastly reached the summit of Croagh Patrick yesterday afternoon on the finish of his epic ‘Climb With Charlie’ mountain problem.
hen the previous RTÉ broadcaster (72) and his spouse Claire arrived on the high of The Reek, he raised his climbing stick in delight and acknowledgement as he was welcomed by applause and cheers from his fellow climbers.
“I love every single one of you, I mean it,” he mentioned. “Always extend the hand of friendship.”
Bird, who was impressed to create the problem after being identified with motor neurone illness final yr, was additionally accompanied by his daughters Orla and Neasa.
“I am truly humbled and inspired that so many thousands of people took part in Climb with Charlie events across the world,” he added as he was snapped in footage and filmed with supporters and fellow climbers.
Among them was the host of RTE’s flagship The Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy, singer Daniel O’Donnell and former champion boxer Barry McGuigan.
“I want to thank people all across the country for their incredible support throughout this journey,” Charlie mentioned.
“All of the beneficiant donations will go to the 2 charities that are so near my coronary heart. It is a tremendous gesture of assist for me and my household.
“Throughout this marketing campaign, we have now had the assist of so many fantastic individuals and organisations, and I wish to thank them from the underside of my coronary heart.
“I would also like to particularly thank the Defence Forces, An Garda Siochana, Mayo Mountain Rescue, the Order of Malta and all our local volunteers for making our climb today possible.”
Ryan mentioned: “Well accomplished Charlie. We’re all glad to be right here, we’ve loads of love for Charlie Bird. This entire factor got here from Charlie.
“Today is about Ireland at its greatest, a rustic within the shadows for 2 years. We stood as much as be counted.
“Everyone has different reasons to be here. We’ll never forget what we did here.”
Daniel was visibly moved by Charlie’s achievement and wiped away tears. He sang a Bruce Springsteen music that was performed at Charlie and Claire’s marriage ceremony.
“It’s a privilege to be here,” he mentioned.
“I used to be on The Late Late when Charlie spoke about his dream to climb Croagh Patrick.
“Charlie’s journey has been amazing. He brought stories from all the world. There has been no story that Charlie has ever told that will top today.”
He mentioned Charlie had united Ireland and that Russian president Vladamir Putin may study from him.
“One man has united Ireland and there may be one other man who’s dividing the world.
“Charlie is amazing, if only we could make it different for you. We stand in awe of you,” he added.
Bird deliberate to mild 5 candles within the small chapel on the high of the mountain – one for his buddy and high-profile campaigner for girls battling cervical most cancers Vicky Phelan; one for everybody identified with a terminal sickness; one for these experiencing psychological well being difficulties; one for everybody concerned within the combat in opposition to Covid-19; and a remaining candle for the individuals of Ukraine.
Irish president Michael D Higgins was amongst these paying tribute to Bird’s fortitude and willpower.
Hailing him as an inspiration, he mentioned: “Charlie’s strength and dignity over recent months has been a source of true inspiration to people across Ireland and beyond.”
In a tweet to Bird, Taoiseach Micheál Martin added: “Wonderful to see the money raised by your Croagh Patrick climb – I know the whole country is right behind you every step of the way!”
People who have been with Charlie alongside the best way mentioned it was “quite emotional” and an inspiring expertise.
“It was it amazing to be at the summit with Charlie,” Rory Sweeney mentioned.
“It’s not for the faint hearted, to tackle Croagh Patrick n the very best of days.
It’s fairly steep and harmful so you must be very cautious however Charlie flew up it, he was unbelievable, he actually was. He was like a machine going up it, just like the proverbial mountain goat. He was completely flying up it and overtaking individuals on his approach.
Rory mentioned many individuals had arrived early within the morning to participate and have been nonetheless arriving late within the afternoon.
“There was a gentle stream of individuals all day and it’s laborious to say however there have been undoubtedly a number of thousand there.
“It was a large crowd and alongside the best way Charlie was saying whats up to everybody and having his footage taken with them. They have been cheering him on the entire approach.
“Charlie was crying, there were tears, tears of joy, I’d say. It was lovely.”
Tens of 1000’s of individuals took half in virtually 200 Climb with Charlie fundraisers internationally, in keeping with organisers.
By yesterday night, the marketing campaign that was staged to boost funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and suicide charity Pieta had already raised greater than €1.5 million