Veteran investigative journalist and Mother Neurone Disease advocate passed away in March this year. Now his final story, the documentary "Ransom '79" is being released in Irish cinemas on May 24.

"Ransom '79" tells the story of legendary Irish reporter Charlie Bird and his determination to break one final story before his life is cut short by Motor Neurone Disease. Bird's sources have given him an extraordinary true crime story, one that had remained secret for decades - the attempt by a criminal gang to extort millions from the Irish government.

The disease has already taken Bird's voice but clever use of technology meant he could do interviews by using a voice app on his iPad. Even as his strength falters, he keeps chasing the story.

The documentary charts Bird’s investigation and reconstructs a scarcely-believable sequence of events that led from farce to tragedy, in a very different Ireland. Beneath it all, the film is an exploration of how one man confronting his mortality can find respite in doing the thing he loves, even in the most terrible of circumstances.

"Ranson '79" is the work of Break Out Pictures, supported by Screen Ireland and directed by Colm Quinn. 

Speaking to Screen Ireland, Quinn said "I first discussed the 'Ransom '79' story with Charlie before his MND diagnosis, that he still wanted to pursue it while facing such a terrible illness is a testament to his courage and determination.

It was a privilege to travel around the country with him as he uncovered a truly unique story with his friend Colin Murphy. I know Charlie would be proud that his work has made it to the big screen, we miss him every day and feel very grateful to have helped him tell one last story."

"Ransom '79" will be released in Irish cinemas on May 24, 2024.