another year | 

Friends of Shay Healy plant tree to mark anniversary of his death

His most famous hit, What's Another Year', Ireland’s 1980 Eurovision winner sung by Johnny Logan, went to the top of the charts in several countries

Friends gather to honour Shay

Liam Collins

Close friends of Shay Healy gathered quietly on the village green in Sandymount this afternoon to plant a tree in honour of a man who travelled the world with his songs, but always came back to the heart of Dublin 4.

In many ways the lyrics he wrote over his lifetime for a host of singers and performer, are the only memorial Shay, who died at the age of 78, needed.

But more than most he would have enjoyed seeing his friends getting together to talk about old times, old songs and their escapades in show business.

He was a legend, and more importantly, a legend who enjoyed life and rarely, never had a bad word to say about anybody. He wrote songs for folkies like Billie Connolly and The Johnstons, pop songs for Johnny Logan and others and even a complete musical.

The much-loved Shay Healy

His most famous hit, 'What's Another Year' Ireland’s 1980 Eurovision winner sung by Johnny Logan, went to the top of the charts in several countries.

Shay grew up with his brothers in sisters near the village of Sandymount and after he married his beloved Dympna, lived with his family, within a short walking distance of the place he loved so much.

Friends, including John McColgan, and Bill Whelan of Riverdance fame and Singer Johnny Logan were in attendance or the ceremony organised by Shay’s old friend Brian Nolan.

Many of them had been guests over the years at his parties in home in Prince of Wales Terrace, a small Victorian enclave tucked away in a quiet corner near the village.

“This is a wonderful thing for us” said Shay’s son Fionnan. “Is this some where we can come to say hello and remember the good times.”

Shay was a talented song-writer, musician, performer, TV and radio presenter, who never lost his gift for friendship and the camaraderie of the entertainment and media industry, to which he contributed so much.

His songs still resonate today for their soulful melodies, including What’s Another Year, which he wrote to commemorate the passing of his own father, Seamus Healy, also a well-known figure in the village.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004, Shay battled on regardless, never losing his good humour or hiding from the enjoyment of life.

He was always dreaming up new songs and new memories, towards the end of his eventual life writing a book about his adventures in New York and the great friends he made all over the world.

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