His music was universal, but at heart Renaissance man Shay Healy was a Sandymount son.
It was fitting that on the first anniversary of his death (April 9, 2021) close friends quietly gathered in the village square to plant a tree in honor of a man who traveled the world with his songs but always returned to the heart Dublin 4
In many ways, the lyrics he wrote for a variety of singers and artists throughout his life are the only memento of Shay, who died at the age of 78.
But more than most, he would have enjoyed seeing his friends get together to talk about old times, old songs, and their antics in show business.
He was a legend, and more importantly, a legend who enjoyed life and rarely had a bad word about anyone. He wrote songs for folkies like Billie Connolly and The Johnstons, pop songs for Johnny Logan and others, and even an entire musical.
His most famous hit, Ireland’s 1980 Eurovision winner, sung by Johnny Logan, went to the top of the charts in several countries.
Shay grew up with his siblings near the village of Sandymount and, after marrying his beloved Dympna, lived with his family within walking distance of the place he loved so much.
Friends including Riverdance’s John McColgan and Bill Whelan and singer Johnny Logan were in attendance at the ceremony, which was organized by Shay’s old friend Brian Nolan.
Many of them had been guests at his parties over the years at his home on 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 a place where we can say hello and remember the good times?”
Shay was a talented songwriter, musician, performer, television and radio host who never lost his gift for friendship and the camaraderie of the entertainment and media industries to which he contributed so much.
His songs still resonate with their soulful melodies today, including What’s Another Year, which he wrote to commemorate the death of his own father, Seamus Healy, who is also a well-known figure in the village.
However, when Shay was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004, he kept fighting, never losing his good spirits or hiding from the joy of life.
He kept inventing new songs and new memories, and towards the end of his life he wrote a book about his adventures in New York and the great friends he made around the world.
He even anticipated his own death in When You Become a Stardust Too:
When destiny came to her, she knew exactly where to find me
I was always in the back room laughing with the clowns
And in my role as a jester, I hope I’ve amused you
And along the way we shared a smile or two.
On Sandymount Green, Shay was still smiling a year after his own fate called.
https://www.independent.ie/news/friends-gather-to-remember-shay-healy-and-plant-tree-in-his-memory-on-anniversary-of-his-death-41537300.html Friends gather to remember Shay Healy and plant a tree in his memory on the anniversary of his death