Tuesday 22 May 2018

'One of Ireland’s true greats of music and television' - Shay Healy (75) to receive IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award

Shay Healy at home in Sandymount, Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys.
Shay Healy at home in Sandymount, Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys.

Sean O'Grady

Shay Healy is set to receive an IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to television and entertainment in Ireland for the last 55 years.

Healy (75) will be presented with the award, the highest honour bestowed by IFTA, on May 31 at the organisation's IFTA Gala Television Awards at the RDS Concert Hall.

“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," Healy said.

Áine Moriarty, CEO of IFTA added: “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”.

Healy, originally from Sandymount in Co Dublin, started his career behind the cameras in RTE and eventually presented shows including Hoot'nanny (1969) and Twenty Minutes With (1968). 

His big break came in 1980 when he penned the song What's Another Year, which went on to win at the Eurovision Song Contest with Johnny Logan.

It was the TV series Nighthawks (1988-1992) that showcased his down-to-earth style and rapport with musicians and people from all walks of life, of which Healy said, "they were the best four years of my working life”.

Over the years he has worked with a variety of well-known Irish musicians including Christy Dignam, Ronan Keating, Linda Martin and Frances Black.

The IFTA Gala Television Nominations will be announced on Wednesday May 9, along with full details about the Awards Ceremony.

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