Broadcaster, producer and songwriter Shay Healy will be honoured by Ireland’s entertainment industry later this month when he is presented with a lifetime achievement award by the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) at the annual IFTA awards. Healy is being saluted for his outstanding work stretching over 55 years in Irish TV and entertainment.
The IFTAs will be presented at a ceremony in the RDS on Thursday, May 31.
Highly-regarded and widely cherished, Healy’s first major break came in 1980 when his song, ‘What’s Another Year’, which he wrote about his dad, won the Eurovision Song Contest in The Hague and made Johnny Logan (above) a major star. The win gave Ireland the chance to host the Eurovision at the RDS in Dublin, inspiring many young Irish musicians.
Other songs written by Healy were recorded by Billy Connolly, The Wolfe Tones, Johnny McEvoy and The Fureys & Davy Arthur. Healy’s work in hosting Nighthawks on RTE Television made history when his interview with Justice Minister Sean Doherty revealed details about the phone tapping scandal which led to Taoiseach Charles Haughey’s downfall.
Despite being a proven talent spotter in his career, there was one act that got away – U2. While judging a talent show, he did not pick the group from the finalists. Some years later, Bono asked Healy to pick a band for his wedding day. That afternoon, when he saw Bono being hoisted on people’s shoulders, he said: “It was like Jesus coming into the room!”
Healy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004. His wife and the love of his life, Dymphna, died last year. He has two sons, Fionan and Oisin. Last year, his Eurovision trophy was stolen from a glass shelf in the bathroom of his home in Sandymount. He took to Facebook to decry the culprit as “a low down, dirty rotten, low-life thug”.
To watch Shay Healy singing ‘Stardust’ on the Late Late Show in December 2016, go to