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02nd Feb 2022

Charlie Bird on the moment he realised he had Motor Neurone Disease

So sad.

Former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird has opened up on the moment he knew he had Motor Neurone Disease after spotting the same symptoms his RTE colleague Colm Murray had experienced.

Colm presented the sports bulletins on the Six One news and sadly passed away in 2013 after three years battling the disease.

Speaking about his own experience with it, Charlie looked back on accepting that he had the disease before he was even diagnosed due to his visits with Colm.

He told RSVP magazine: “I knew before I was diagnosed that I had motor neurones. The reason I knew is I had a good friend in RTE called Colm Murray who had the disease. I used to visit him, I used to sit with him, I remember thinking, “I wouldn’t be able to cope with that”, and here I am now.

“I am having difficulty sleeping, I find sleep after a few hours. I get tired in the evenings but it could be hours but I eventually nod off.

“The strange thing is I wake up and I am lying there, before I use my voice, I feel like myself and all is okay and then I go to speak and bang, the horror of my situation is there.”

Charlie has revealed that he is set to have his voice cloned after it has begun to deteriorate following his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis.

In the coming days, Charlie is being given access to software that can replicate his voice and can help him continue to speak they way he is used to.

The 72 year old took to Twitter to thank Keith Davey from Marino Software who is helping him use this new technology to get his voice back, and Charlie hoped that others in his position would be able to avail of this.