Broadcaster and motor neurone disease patient Charlie Bird has said that his “dying wish” is for “peace to remain on this island.”
The former RTÉ journalist spent an extensive part of his career covering the Troubles in Northern Ireland and as a young adult in the 1960s was involved in what he euphemistically called “street politics”:
“The Vietnam War, the anti-apartheid movement, the burning of Catholic families’ homes in Belfast, I was a big fan of Dr Noel Browne who was in the Labour party,” he told Moncrieff.
“I joined the Young Socialists, then the Labour party; I joined Official Sinn Féin because Tony Heffernan, who grew up with me on the same street, was a member.
“So I was there for a short time.”
“I have said this before and I mean this from the bottom of heart and it will be my dying wish; I want peace to remain on this island.
“For people to live by the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement.”
'I don’t think his politics have changed'
Mr Bird announced last year that he had been diagnosed with MND and has been up front about his struggles with the disease.
People with the condition gradually lose their ability to talk but can still communicate through a notebook and software programme.
It means Mr Bird is as opinionated as ever and his wife Claire said he remains keenly aware of world events:
“I don’t think his politics have changed,” she said.
“Even though Charlie can’t speak, he still writes, he’ll still rant, he’ll still listen to the news, watch Ch4 News, BBC, RTÉ, reads every single paper.”
And on the big issue of the day - the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson - Mr Bird spoke for millions when he succinctly said:
“I’m delighted he’s gone.”
Main image: Former RTÉ broadcaster Charlie Bird. Picture by: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo / Brian Lawless