Healy, Shay

Shay Healy (1943-2021) songwriter, broadcaster and journalist.

From Sandymount in Dublin, Shay Healy joined RTÉ in 1963 as a trainee cameraman, but proved himself to be equally at home working on the other side of the camera as a presenter.  At first he presented RTÉ Television’s studio-based music programmes ‘Hoot’nanny’ (1969), ‘Ballad Sheet’ (1969) and ‘Twenty Minutes With’ (1968), and then moved onto presenting the talent show ‘Reach For The Stars’ (1971), as well as the young people’s series ‘Hullaballoo’ (1977).  

Shay Healy also appeared on RTÉ Television throughout the 1970s presenting comedy sketches and performing his songs on a number of entertainment programmes. In 1980 his song ‘What’s Another Year’, sung by Johnny Logan, won the National Song Contest, and went on to win the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest.  

He joined the ‘Evening Extra’ team in the 1980s as a roving reporter for the early evening magazine programme, delivering entertaining and sometimes humorous reports filmed on location around the country on a variety of topics.

In 1988 Shay Healy fronted ‘Nighthawks’, a new late night chat show on Network Two, and became the programme with which he is most associated.  Set in a bar/café where he was also the proprietor, the programme was a mixture of comedy sketches, interviews, music performances and music videos, and went out three nights a week.

‘What’s Another Year’ (1994) was another chat show presented by Shay Healy, which focused on entertainers and well-known personalities who talked about their time in the spotlight.  In a similar vein, ‘The Birthday Show’ (1994) was a series in which Shay Healy interviewed guests who celebrated their birthday around the date of the programme's transmission.  

Shay Healy left RTÉ in 1995 but continued to make television programmes with his own production company Safinia Productions, including the Phil Lynott documentary ‘The Rocker’ which was broadcast on both RTÉ and BBC.  He was one of three presenters on Agtel Communications’ ‘Beastly Behaviour’, a magazine series about pets which ran on RTÉ from 1998 to 1999.  He has also presented programmes for RTÉ Radio.

Shay Healy was diagnosed with the degenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease in 2004. 

In 2007 he joined TG4’s talent show ‘Glór Tíre’ as a member of the judging panel.

2016 saw Healy release his first recorded album ‘Stardust – The Stable Sessions’ which showcases his talents as a songwriter and musician.

He married Dympna Errity in 1967 and they had two sons, Oisín and Fionáin.