Charlie Bird’s drive to help others shows his grit and grace

Fuelled by an outpouring of assist from across the nation, Charlie Bird reached the summit of Croagh Patrick shortly earlier than 12.30pm in the present day.

He was greeted by lots of of cheering climbers – and the 30-member Clew Bay Pipe Band.

RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy informed the gang: “We’ll never forget what we did here together as family and friends, so I want to thank Charlie for bringing us all together like this – it’s been beautiful.”

Singer Daniel O’Donnell raised the skies with a volley of songs to mark Bird’s excellent achievement.

There has been no story that Charlie has ever informed in all his travels that may high his personal story of in the present day… I need you to know what you might be doing is past unbelievable and we stand in awe of you and we’re privileged to be with you.”

A shout got here up from the gang – Vicky Phelan was on the cellphone, which was shortly handed to Daniel who had the mic.

“Fair play to you Charlie, you made it to the top – you’re some man,” she mentioned. And as soon as once more, the gang cheered.

Though affected by motor neurone illness, Bird has raised greater than €1.5m for charity by means of his marketing campaign ‘Climb with Charlie’.

Some 3,000 souls snaked up the Holy Mountain to assist his trigger.

They had their private causes too – climbing for family and friends who’re critically unwell, or for family members who’ve handed away. And so it was becoming to listen to flautist Matt Molloy’s plaintive The Hilltop.

Bird’s drive to “reach out the hand of friendship” has helped to carry Covid-weary spirits up and down the nation.

The climb began from the village of Murrisk, alongside the lately improved path, Casán Phádraig.

Daniel O'Donnell singing before the crowd on the summit of Croagh Patrick. Picture: Conor McKeown
Daniel O’Donnell singing earlier than the gang on the summit of Croagh Patrick. Picture: Conor McKeown

Formed by an infinite upheaval of the earth’s crust 400 million years in the past, Croagh Patrick has grow to be an emblem of tolerating stability. And hope.

The first walkers began earlier than daybreak, a trio of high-spirited girls from Westport who had been already again within the automobile park by 9.20am, having witnessed the dawn on the summit.

Bird and his crew – relations and associates – had been scheduled to lace up their boots at 9.30am.

The climate gods had been benevolent, granting, excluding a couple of gentle showers, cool, sunny climate.

The view from the mountainside needs to be among the finest within the nation. Clew Bay, with its ‘basket of eggs’ community of small drumlin islands, is a geographical surprise.

Bird’s marketing campaign has obtained widespread assist from the outset, together with his former RTÉ colleagues, a few of whom joined in the present day’s climb.

Ryan Tubridy was there together with Fran McNulty and Carol Coleman. Other high-profile individuals on the climb included Baz Ashmawy, Dermot Bannon, Joanna Donnelly and Dr Harry Barry.

What began as Bird’s spontaneous bucket-list want earlier this yr, shortly become a nationwide fundraiser for Pieta and Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.

People climbed in over 150 places across the nation in the present day. Corresponding walks befell within the US, Canada, England, Australia and Dubai.

Before coming into the tiny church on the summit, Charlie informed the gang through voicebank expertise: “Today is not about me, it is about everyone who has a terminal illness. And after the last couple of years that we have all gone through, with Covid, we know that many people have had their own personal mountains to climb every day.” 

Bird’s drive to assist individuals in want regardless of his life-limiting prognosis factors to deep reserves of grit and charm.

The public servant who held bankers and politicians to account for many years is constant to serve the individuals.

Like Croagh Patrick itself, Charlie Bird has confirmed himself to be a permanent rock.

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