Eurovision Finals 2013

Eurovision Star reveals his “Dementia Fears”

Shay Healy And Johnny Logan Winning Eurovision 1980. Photograph courtesy of Seniortimes.ie

Shay Healy And Johnny Logan Winning Eurovision 1980. Photograph courtesy of Seniortimes.ie

Eurovision star has revealed his fears of developing dementia, in an open and candid television show. Allowing television cameras to follow him for a day – Shay Healy (the composer of one of Eurovision’s most iconic songs that became the launching pad for one Johnny Logan) has talked of his battle against Parkinson’s Disease and his fears of  developing dementia.

Shay Healy is a well-known and loved Irish broadcaster, journalist, musician and song writer, who composed Johnny Logan’s first Eurovision winning entry – “What’s Another Year” in 1980. In the documentary he said that the “unpredictability” of the symptoms were an “extreme frustration” for him.

Mr Healy has lived with Parkinson’s disease for the over ten years now and decided to take to the TV3 show “Midweek” (see here) to raise awareness of the condition and the treatments available. He recounted in the past how he tried cannabis in an attempt to provide relief from the pain and tremors of the disease.

On the show he joked “I woke up this morning with a cramp. I was woken by a cramp so extreme in my right leg that I levitated it for about a minute-and-a-half in agony, so anything that would take that away … mind you, I’d find it hard to roll a joint first thing in the morning,”

Mr Healy admitted that he has not fallen to the effect of the disease as fast as others “but I know that will change. It is degenerative. It will keep going,”. He spoke of suffering from hallucinations from time to time.

Johnny Logan and Shay Healy. Photograph courtesy of Irishtimes.com

Johnny Logan and Shay Healy. Photograph courtesy of Irishtimes.com

He was very candid about his health prospects and said that the “odds” of him, and others, surviving, were shortening as modern medicine struggled to develop a cure.

Ever the musician, he claimed how he is “frustrated by it because I really should be performing more. My one concern is that I might eventually arrive at the doorstep of dementia, which wouldn’t be nice,”

For the Eurovision winning composer, the music studio is still his passion and source of relief yet he has to take extreme care with cables as his mobility is restricted these days.

Shay Healy was a Mentor at the Irish Eurosong National Final this year where he coached the Irish/Turkish Act Inchequin, and their very catchy song “Son Kez”. It is a testament to his strength of character that he wants to remain active and involved in music and his underlying love of Eurovision.

Author/Website co-founder and Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall

Source : TV3, Independent.ie and Eurovision Ireland

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