Michael Kealy, the Head of Delegation, has revealed that he would welcome an Irish-language entry again in Eurovision.
When asked about Ireland sending future entries to the contest in Irish, Michael replied:
“Yes is the easy answer to that. It’s all down to the song. I would be delighted to go to Eurovision with an Irish language song that could compete at that level.”
“The problem is that most people write in the English language. There are one or two [Irish language songs] in the 320 songs [that have been submitted for 2022], so the odds of one of those songs being chosen is going to be low this year but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out for the future.”
Ireland has only sent one entry to the contest in Irish, which was “Ceol an Ghrá” in 1972. However, Ireland has sent Irish-language entries to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since their debut in 2015, as their participation is organised by Irish-language broadcaster TG4.
Michael also revealed what is currently happening in the selection process.
“So what I’ve done is assembled a panel of around 12 people to shortlist them [320 songs].”
“Each of us is coming up with our top 20 or 30 that we’re going to put into a long list and we’ve nearly got that process completed. Then I’m going to put together a panel of about 20-25 people and that will be people who work in the music business, television and radio. I’m involving a lot of fans this time because they’re a great part of Eurovision and they’re a resource that maybe we’ve underused in previous years.”
When asked if the quality of songs admitted was good, Michael replied:
“Well I won’t say most of them. Most of them are still from people who clearly don’t watch the competition. Everybody knows a song can’t be longer than three minutes – I got one song that was six minutes long.”
“The standard of the ones that are good this year is very good. We will have no difficulty in getting five really good songs for the Late Late Eurovision special in January. The hardest part will be leaving the three or four other good ones behind.”
A total of 320 songs were submitted to RTÉ to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 in Turin. This is the first time since 2015 that the public will be involved in choosing the Irish entry for Eurovision.
Lesley Roy represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 with “Maps”. She finished last in the first semi-final with 20 points.
Source: The Euro Trip | Image Source: Image Source: EBU / Andres Putting
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 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 Düsseldorf.