The Irish Head of Delegation is open to the return of the public’s involvement in selecting Ireland’s Eurovision participant.
Speaking to the Irish Sun, Head of Delegation Michael Kealy has said that he is open to the return of the public’s involvement in selecting the nations Eurovision entry. Mr Kealy’s comments come after Ireland finished last in their semi-final for a second consecutive contest, Ireland has internally selected their entrant since 2016.
He told the Irish Sun that:
“I feel it’s time we reverted to giving the public their say in what we do but we must find an effective and cost effective way of doing that.”
His comments come after a number of past Irish entrants and winners are calling for the return of the televised national selection show. Mr Kealy went on to add that:
“Other countries are able to invest significantly more money and resources in their selection processes, staging and support teams than a small chronically underfunded broadcaster like RTE, that’s unfortunately a fact of life we can’t ignore.”
Ireland has only qualified for the final once since turning to an internal selection process. In 2018 Ryan O’Shaughnessy took Ireland to the grand final for the first time the 2013 contest in Malmo, Sweden.
Image Source: EBU / Andres Putting | Source: Irish Sun
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 1990’s 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.