Search icon


27th Oct 2021

Former RTE broadcaster Charlie Bird reveals Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis

Motor Neurone Disease is an incurable condition that affects the brain and nervous system.

Former RTE broadcaster Charlie Bird has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

The reporter revealed the news on social media on Wednesday, addressing the issues he has been having with his voice.

“Recently I spoke about issues with my voice. I now know why. I have been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease,” he wrote.

“Thanks to all my pals for their amazing support. And the kindness from so many people. Stay safe everyone.”

Back in September, the 72-year-old had to cancel a number of interviews due to speech problems from his then undiagnosed illness.

Motor Neurone Disease is a condition that affects the brain and nervous system, with speech issues listed among the common symptoms.

According to Motor Neurone Ireland, it is a “progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching the muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.”

The cause of the disease is unknown and it can affect people of any age. While there is no cure, symptoms can be managed.

After revealing his diagnosis on Twitter, Charlie was flooded with well wishes and messages of support.

“Sorry to hear your news. Wishing you strength and courage in the future. You are lucky to have good support. A diagnosis like this puts life into perspective. Be strong and live your best life,” one person wrote.

“So sorry to hear of your MND diagnosis. I received the same news myself 6 months ago. Wanted to let u know there is still hope and a good quality of life to be found amongst the tough times. Stay strong. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family,” another said.

Charlie spent 38 years in RTÉ, after joining the broadcaster in 1974 as a researcher in current affairs.

He joined the newsroom as a reporter six years later, becoming chief news correspondent and later Washington Correspondent, before his retirement in 2012.