RTÉ, the Irish national broadcaster, has stated that they have yet to choose their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
The statements come after rumours that Niall Horan had been selected to represent Ireland in Tel Aviv. Responding to a question from Wiwibloggs, Michael Kealy, Head of Delegation for Ireland, stated that RTÉ has not yet made a selection:
“At the moment we are still going through the 430 songs we received, so it’s a bit early to rule anything in or out definitively!”
Kealy likened the rumour to that of Johnny Rotten last year. While Johnny Rotten was under consideration to represent Ireland in Lisbon, he was ultimately not selected.
Niall Horan is not the first person rumoured to be representing Ireland at Eurovision 2019. Una Healy was previously reported to be RTÉ’s top pick for Tel Aviv. Una was previously a backing singer for Brian Kennedy in the Eurovision Song Contest 2006. All of Ireland’s representatives since 2016 have been chosen through an internal selection. Before 2016, RTÉ used a national selection to select their Eurovision representaitves.
Ryan O’Shaughnessy represented Ireland in Lisbon this year with the song “Together”. He finished 16th in the final with 136 points. This was Ireland’s first appearance in the final since 2013 and their best result since 2012.
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Ireland debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965 and is currently the most successful country to have participated in the contest, winning a total of seven times. During the 1990s Ireland was a powerhouse in the contest becoming the first country to win three years in a row from 1992 to 1994. Since 2000 Ireland has struggled in the contest having qualified from the semi-final into the final just six out of a possible 13 times. Ireland’s last top 10 result came in 2011 when Jedward finished 8th in Dusseldorf.