Journalist and Broadcaster Charlie Bird was conferred with the Freedom of County Wicklow by Wicklow County Council in recognition of his work and outstanding achievements in the field of broadcasting and journalism and more recently in his campaigning and raising funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House.
Charlie, who was conferred with the honour at a special ceremony in the Council Chamber, County Buildings, Wicklow, was only the third recipient of this unique honour: Oscar-winning actor and Wicklow resident, Daniel Day-Lewis, was the first in 2009 and World champion boxer, Katie Taylor, was the second in 2011.
The conferring of the honorary freedom of the County Wicklow is bestowed by the County Council on a person who has distinguished themselves in such a manner as is deemed worthy to have their name entered onto the Roll of Persons So Honoured.
The Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Tommy Annesley, said, “we would like to congratulate Charlie and commend him on all the tireless fundraising work he has carried out over the past year. It is clear the impact you have had on so many and it’s fitting that we bestow this honour on you.”
Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Brian Gleeson, stated, “we are all immensely proud of Charlie and it is a privilege to pay tribute to him. Charlie has brought honour to not only himself and his family but to the people of Wicklow.”
In response, Charlie Bird said, “I am deeply honoured to receive the Freedom of Wicklow, following in the footsteps of Daniel Day Lewis and the great Katie Taylor. I am accepting this amazing award on behalf of everyone across Ireland and abroad who helped to make ‘ClimbwithCharlie’ the outstanding success it was. So thank you to the people of Wicklow for extending the hand of friendship.”
The Commemoration Piece presented to Mr Bird was created by the west Wicklow based artist and blacksmith Michael Calnan of Calnan & Anhoj, forge and gallery, Russborough House, Blessington.
The sculpture is symbolic of the journalist and broadcaster Charlie Bird’s long and fruitful career in the world of media as well as his personal connection to County Wicklow. Handcrafted from forged bronze and mounted on a base of rough-hewn granite, the bronze quill references Charlie Bird’s work as a highly respected news correspondent and documentarian.
The bronze eagle’s talon symbolises the great physical and moral courage that he’s shown throughout his life and career. Lastly, the bronze key represents the Freedom of the County of Wicklow as awarded to him by Wicklow County Council in appreciative recognition of what has been an exceptional life and career that continue to serve as an inspiration to many.
Source: Wicklow County Council