The animal in Cork’s Fota Wildlife Park was named after Donegal shot-stopper in a public vote.
Stephen Ryan, marketing chief at the park, said the three-month-old ape is an “agile gibbon”, renowned as the fastest and most acrobatic of all primates.
And he’s hoping it might be a ‘lucky’ sign for the Euro 2102 championships!
“We got over 100 name suggestions through our website and we narrowed it down to four in the end,” he said.
“We are delighted with the name Shay and hopefully he might bring some luck to the lads in Poland next week.”
Since being born in March, Shay Gibbon has been fiercely protected by its mother Chloe.
After a contest inviting suggestions for a name on Facebook, a shortlist was drawn up including Shay, George, Mel and Robin, after the late Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.
But with days to go before the boys in green take on Croatia in their opening tie in the Euro 2012 championships, the wildlife park chose to honour Ireland’s most capped player.
Said Shay: “I’m honoured.”