Singer Niamh Kavanagh fears for voice over thyroid surgery


Former Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh has said she may lose her singing voice due to her enlarged thyroid.

The Ray D’Arcy Show on TV received a number of emails from people in the medical profession watching the programme who were concerned about her neck following her appearance on the show.

“I have an enlarged thyroid or a ‘goitre’, and I’ve had it for a very long time. I first became aware of it in my 20s and it was small so you wouldn’t have really seen it,” she said.

“At this point it has become quite enlarged and we decided to delay the operation on it because it could effect my singing voice – so we waited for as long as it was safe to do so,” she said.

Niamh Kavanagh on The Ray D’Arcy Show

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End of month

Ms Kavanagh said she will have the operation at the end of the month.

“There’s a small possibility that I’ll end up with hoarse-voice syndrome. There is a 20 per cent chance that damage can be caused to the two nerves that run perpendicular to the neck, which help you change pitch. If they get damaged, you really struggle with your voice,” she said.

“If you can’t change the pitch of your voice, then that means from a singer’s point of view that you can’t follow a tune. It would be the end of singing for me,” she said.

Ms Kavanagh said she will be on medication for the rest of her life and that she needs to have the operation because her airwaves are becoming obstructed.

“It’s a pivotal moment for someone like me because singing is my career and part of who I am because I have sung my whole life,” she said.

Ms Kavanagh said she was “heartened” by people’s response to her health scare.

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