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WATCH | Eamon Dunphy and John Giles on the tear with Shay Healy

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

22:25 15 Apr 2021


As always on Thursday night, we were joined by John Giles for his thoughts on football - but this time we remembered a classic night out.

In scenes that will make all across the country long for a night in the pub with their mates, John recalled an episode of Nighthawks when he was in the pub with Eamon Dunphy and the late Shay Healy.

Healy, whose passing was announced this week, joined the two rabble-rousers of Irish television on the night that Ireland qualified for Italia '90.

"I'd say there was quite a few," John said of whether a few Bacardi and Cokes had been taken!

"I'm glad I heard that as I don't remember the night!"

Shay Healy

The Dubliner composed 'What's Another Year' for Johnny Logan, which won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1980.

He was also a well-known broadcaster, hosting the RTÉ show Nighthawks in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The talk show covered current affairs and entertainment, and Mr Healy's interview with the former Minister for Justice Sean Doherty about phone tapping eventually led to the resignation of then-Taoiseach Charles Haughey.

Shay Healy subsequently went on to found his own production company.

In 2004, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease but continued working.

He is survived by his two sons. His wife, Dymphna, passed away in 2017.

The President and Taoiseach led the tributes to Shay Healy after the news of his death was announced.

President Michael D Higgins said his "talents extended across so many areas and continued, even when challenged by illness, into the modern decades".

"His approach to everything he did was original and conveyed with enthusiasm," the President said.

"The range of his song-writing was such that it included not just songs that could compete with real prospect at Eurovision, but also songs that responded to contemporary events and that could take their place in the folk community.

"I treasure the correspondence I received from him over the years at different points of both of our lives. To have known him as a friend was a great privilege. He was loyal in his friendship and generous in its expression."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Shay Healy "brought so much joy with his Eurovision success, and informed millions with his skilful interviews".


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