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Tuesday 17 October 2017

'I look forward to our next chat' - Miriam's message to Shay

Shay Healy
Shay Healy

RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan has wished Eurovision winner Shay Healy all the best after his health took a turn for the worse.

The former RTE broadcaster and award-winning composer was admitted to Blackrock Clinic last week, where he is currently being cared for by staff.

The news comes shortly after he lost his beloved wife, Dymphna, who died at their Southside home on July 10.

The couple, who were married for nearly 50 years, had two children, Fionan and Oisin, and six grandchildren.

O'Callaghan - who interviewed Healy on her RTE Radio One show in March 2014 about his Parkinson's disease - passed on her best wishes to the performer.

"I am very privileged and honoured to have interviewed Shay on a number of occasions on both my television chat show and my Sunday morning radio show," she said.

"He's an absolutely wonderful person in every way.

"I wish him the very best and I look forward very much to our next chat."

Bravely

The 74-year-old is best known for his role as host of the TV chat show Nighthawks, and for composing What's Another Year for Johnny Logan, which was Ireland's winning entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest.

Healy has spoken openly and bravely about his lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. The musician was first diagnosed with the condition 13 years ago.

He previously said on RTE's Sunday With Miriam that he had resigned himself to the fact that he is in the last stages of life.

"I think about death all the time, but not in an unhealthy way. I'm kind of resigned to the fact that I'm turned for home," he said.

"I haven't cried. Being a realist, I try not to analyse it too much."

He said being on stage is one of the places where the pain of Parkinson's "goes away" for him.

"The stage is my natural home, that's where I belong. For 40 or 50 minutes there's no pain and the Parkinson's goes away," he said.

Parkinson's is a progressive neurological disorder, for which there is no cure.

Healy previously praised his late wife Dymphna, whom he married in September 1967, for looking after him throughout his illness.

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