Shay Healy will be honoured with the IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his long-running career in television and entertainment at the end of May.

The veteran broadcaster, songwriter and journalist will be presented with the lifetime achievement award in hour of his diverse body of work spanning 55 years at the IFTA Gala Television Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 31 in Dublin.

Commenting on the honour, Healy said: "I am thrilled to accept this honour from the Academy and my only regret is that I didn't keep a record of all the times and dates when so many people shared their musical and artistic talents with me. This award is as much about them as it is about me."

Áine Moriarty, CEO of IFTA, said:  "Shay Healy is one of Ireland’s true greats of music and television, who has enriched the lives of so many people through his writing and creativity and his encouragement of Irish music talent throughout the years.  

"He has made a unique contribution to Irish culture and to this industry as a whole".

The Dubliner started out his career as a writer and his love of music led to him becoming the folk music correspondent for Spotlight in the early '60s.

He began working in RTÉ in 1963 behind the camera and went on to front many innovative television programmes over the years. His first presenting jobs were studio-based music programms Hoot'nanny (1969), Ballad Sheet (1969) and Twenty Minutes With (1968).

He hosted the talent show Reach For The Stars in 1971 and the series Hullaballoo in 1977.

His songwriting skills came to the fore in 1980 when his song What's Another Year, which he wrote about his dad, won the Eurovision Song Contest and made Johnny Logan a star.

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Healy's TV series Nighthawks, which ran from 1988 to 1992, showcased his unique and down-to-earth style and rapport with people from all walks of life. The presenter said "they were the best four years of my working life".

He went on to host other TV shows in including The Birthday Show (1993-1995) and Beastly Behaviour (1998-1999) and made a number of TV documentaries including Phil Lynott, The Rocker and Against the Odds with Ronan Tynan.

The IFTA Gala television nominations will be announced on Wednesday, May 9.

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