Among all the sad news thrown at us, here comes one more. Healy Shay, a man of many talents, passed away at the age of 78 due to Parkinson’s disease (a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination). The songwriter is most known for being the lyricist of Johnny Logan’s first winning song, What’s Another Year in Envision Circles. In his interviews, he’d often mention the song, the success, and the money it got him, which allowed him to explore many a talent.
Shay Healy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004, after which he made public appearances to talk about the disorder and its challenges. In 2017 his wife passed away. Shay Healy is survived by his two sons, Oisin and Fionain.
It was in 1977 when Shay made his debut as a writer along with Naill Tobin for the musical theatre ‘The King,’ a musical about Elvis Presley. His huge success followed him in 2005 for ‘The Wireman,’ telling the story of County Mayo and how electricity was introduced there in the 1950s.
Johnny Logan, the two-time Eurovision winner, also shared his memories of Shay Healy, expressing his love and condolences to the family while reminiscing their Eurovision days and the journey of “what’s another year.”
Shay had not only proved himself as a writer, but he was well-known in comedy too. He has written many songs for comedian Billy Connolly, including The Shitkickers Waltz. He also wrote Silly Fellow under the pseudonym of Crack – a song about how Paul McCartney was arrested in Japan.
Mr. Healy was the presenter of the late-night talk show, Nighthawks, which covered entertainment and current affairs. In 1992, it aired an infamous interview with the former minister for justice Sean Doherty about phone tapping, which eventually led to Charles Haughey’s resignation as taoiseach (Irish prime minister).
Irish President Michael D Higgins expressed his sentiments saying that the news of Mr. Healy’s death “will have been heard with sadness by so many.”
“Shay’s talents extended across so many areas and continued, even when challenged by illness, into the modern decades,” said President Higgins.
“His approach to everything he did was original and conveyed with enthusiasm.”
Ireland considered him a national treasure, and rightly so! Culture Minister Catherine Martin was one of the first to comment, stating she felt Healy was a “national treasure.”