Esteemed former RTÉ journalist Charlie Bird passed away at the age of 74 after a courageous battle with motor neuron disease.

Renowned as one of RTÉ's most distinguished news correspondents, Bird played a pivotal role in covering major stories both in Ireland and internationally throughout his four-decade career with the Irish broadcaster. His reporting included events such as the Stardust fire, the National Irish Bank tax avoidance scandal, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Beginning his journey with RTÉ in 1972 as a researcher, Bird later transitioned to the newsroom. One of his early assignments involved covering the tragic Stardust fire in Artane, Dublin, in 1981, where 48 young lives were lost.

In 1984, he reported on the arrest and imprisonment of Fr Niall O'Brien, an Irish Columban Missionary falsely accused and detained in the Philippines on multiple murder charges.

During the 1990s, Bird played a crucial role in reporting on the Northern Ireland peace process, becoming the Provisional IRA's primary media contact in the Republic from 1993 onwards.

In 2006, he hosted an award-winning news series addressing deaths and injuries on Irish roads, shedding light on the rising fatalities and contributing to legislative changes in the area.

Bird's final broadcast with RTÉ occurred in August 2012 when he temporarily hosted the Marian Finucane show on RTÉ Radio 1.

Diagnosed with motor neuron disease in October 2021, Bird bravely shared his journey with the public through radio, TV, and newspapers. On April 2, 2002, a solidarity campaign called 'Climb with Charlie' saw thousands ascend peaks around Ireland and abroad, raising €3.4m for charities, including the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association and Pieta.

Yesterday, Charlie Bird passed away. He is survived by his wife Claire, daughters Orla and Nessa, grandchildren Abigail, Charlie, Edward, Harriet, and Hugo, as well as his three brothers.