Charlie Bird’s emotional moment with Daniel O’Donnell: ‘That was the best gesture, it will be with me until I die’

Eoghan Moloney

Charlie Bird has revealed singer Daniel O’Donnell made a “marvellous” gesture to him backstage at the Late Late Show that will “be with me until I die”.

The Donegal singer placed something in former RTÉ journalist Charlie’s hand backstage after his emotional interview with Ryan Tubridy, Mr Bird told Mario Rosentock on the Mario Rosenstock podcast.

“On the night that I was on the first Late Late, Daniel O’Donnell was on before me.

"When he walked out of the studio I was walking in, and he said hello... and he was really nice to me. And after the show when I was walking out of the studio, Daniel was still at the door of his dressing room, and he walked over to me and he put something into my hand.”

Mr Bird would not divulge what Daniel gave to him but said, “it was the loveliest gesture that any human being can do for another, I mean it, I mean it. I’m going to cry now.

“That man in that moment did something really marvellous for me… What he did in that moment, it really lifted me, and I mean it. And he knows what I’m talking about but no one else does.

"But I’ll tell you, that was the best gesture, it will be with me until I die.”

The swell of support that Charlie has received from people all over Ireland has given him ‘a whole new perspective on life’ and he is determined to turn his diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease into a force for good.

“There is somebody out there who will be listening to this podcast who will get a diagnosis of Motor Neurone, Parkinson’s, or they will have throat cancer, or anything. Just think of all the people who have terminal illnesses – I am climbing Croagh Patrick for every one of them.

"I’m also climbing Croagh Patrick in a way for everybody in this country, we have all gone through hell because of the pandemic .

“By golly I want everybody to be involved, and for themselves, and in the end two charities will benefit from it – the Motor Neuron Disease Association ( and Pieta House… The whole issue of people who have thought of self-harm or suicidal thoughts is a big, big issue for me.

"I’ve known people who have been in a dark, dark place and have lost their lives. So it really is important for me – and also in relation to Motor Neurone – I want to make sure that more money is put in for research, so maybe in a year’s time or two year’s time, something will happen to turn it from a terminal illness to a serious illness. It won't come in time for me , but I want that to happen,” Charlie said.