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|Appearances||52 (45 in finals)|
|Best result||1st: 1970, 1980, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996|
|Worst result||Last: 2007, 2013|
Ireland is the most successful country in the Eurovision Song Contest with seven wins. They first took part in the 1965 Contest in Naples, participating in every subsequent Contest but two: the 1983 Contest in Munich and the 2002 Contest in Tallinn, Estonia. Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) is Ireland's representative broadcaster at the Contest, and broadcasts the Contest annually; the semi-finals are broadcast on RTÉ Two and the final on RTÉ One. All but one of the country's entries have been in English; the exception is "Ceol an Ghrá", the 1972 entry, which was sung in Irish.
On seven occasions the Contest has been staged in Ireland, all but one of these in the capital Dublin, when the 1993 Contest was held in Millstreet, a town with a population of 1,500 people in west County Cork, following Linda Martin's win in 1992.
Ireland won the Contest for the first time in 1970 with Dana performing "All Kinds of Everything". In total, Ireland has won the Contest seven times, more than any other country, including an unprecedented three consecutive victories in the 1990s (1992, 1993 and 1994 - the most consecutive wins accumulated by a country to date). The decade also saw yet another victory in 1996 and two second place finishes (in 1990, 1997) which gives Ireland the best overall performance by any country in the history of the Contest.
Ireland has competed in the Contest almost continuously since the country's debut in 1965 (absent in 1983 and 2002). In 1983 a strike at the country's national broadcaster RTÉ meant that the broadcaster lacked the resources to send a participant so RTÉ broadcast the Contest with commentary from the BBC. In 2002 Ireland were relegated from the Contest for one year; despite this RTÉ broadcast the Contest and sent a commentator (the rules in use at the time meant that a country who wanted to take part had to show the previous year's Contest). Reformed RTÉ presenter Marty Whelan has been the national commentator since the 2000 Contest. It was held in Stockholm in Sweden, which is where Ireland who were one of the favourites to win has had its best placing to date since 1997 and since phone voting began with Eamonn Toal in a very impressive 6th position singing 'Millennium of Love' which was co-written by Raymond J. Smyth and Gerry Simpson.
Ireland has sent 45 entries to the Eurovision Song Contest; of these seven have won and eighteen have finished in the top five. Ireland has been relegated once: in 2001 Gary O'Shaughnessy finished twenty-first with "Without Your Love," which meant Ireland was forced to sit out of the 2002 contest. In addition, six Irish entries have featured in the semi-final of the Contest. In 2005, Donna & Joe finished fourteenth in the pre-qualifier, failing to qualify for the final. In 2006, Brian Kennedy finished ninth in the semifinal, ensuring an Irish presence in the Athens final. Kennedy finished tenth in the final. Ireland also featured in the first semi-final in 2008 and in the second semi-final in 2009, however the representatives failed to qualify for the final in both.
Ireland's recent results in the Contest have been poor in comparison to the 1990s. At the Contest in 2007, Ireland's representatives were traditional Irish music group Dervish performing "They Can't Stop The Spring". The group, having automatically qualified for the final, finished last with five points, all from Albania. In 2008, Dustin the Turkey failed to qualify for the final with his song "Irelande Douze Points", losing out in the semi-final on May 20. The same fate befell Sinéad Mulvey and Black Daisy in the 2009 semi-final on May 14. In 2011 however, Ireland's luck changed as they sent X Factor finalists Jedward. The duo finished in eighth place, with 119 points, thus making them Ireland's most successful entry in 11 years. Their single "Lipstick" topped the iTunes charts in Austria, Germany, Ireland and Sweden. Jedward represented Ireland again in 2012 with their song "Waterline", but after making it through the first semi-final, were only awarded 46 points, finishing in 19th place.
Seven singers have represented Ireland more than once at the Contest: Johnny Logan (1980, 1987), Linda Martin (1984, 1992), Niamh Kavanagh (1993, 2010), Tommy and Jimmy Swarbrigg (as "The Swarbriggs" in 1975 and part of "The Swarbriggs Plus Two" in 1977), Maxi (as a soloist in 1973 and as part of Sheeba in 1981) and Jedward in 2011 and 2012.
Eight people have written and composed more than one Irish entry: Brendan Graham (1976, 1985, 1994, 1996), Johnny Logan (1984, 1987, 1992), Tommy and Jimmy Swarbrigg (1975, 1977), Liam Reilly (1990, 1991), Joe Burkett (composer 1972, lyricist 1981), and Niall Mooney & Jonas Gladnikoff (2009, 2010).
Almost all of Ireland's Eurovision entries prior to 1998 were conducted by Noel Kelehan. The exceptions were 1965 (Gianni Ferrio), 1970 (Dolf van der Linden), from 1972 to 1975 (Colman Pearce), 1979 (Proinnsias Ó Duinn), 1994 (no conductor, although Kelehan conducted other entries) and 1997 (Frank McNamara).
Ireland has also indulged in the process of writing songs for other countries; Ronan Keating (who also presented the 1997 contest) collaborated on the 2009 entry for Denmark.
Duo Jedward is the only act to have represented the country two consecutive years in the contest in 2011 and 2012.
Ireland was among the first countries to confirm participation for Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Sweden. Ryan Dolan represented the country in Malmö, Sweden where he successfully qualified for the final, only to finish in last place - the second time the country has suffered this fate. Between 2013 and 2017, they failed to qualify for the final but that came to end when 2018 entrant Ryan O'Shaughnessy (the nephew of 2001 entrant Gary O'Shaughnessy) successfully qualified for the final.
- Ireland holds the record for the most number wins, with 7 wins and 3 consecutive wins. The country has also achieved second place 4 times and third once.
- Ireland is one of the few countries to have achieved consecutive wins (along with Spain, Luxembourg and Israel) and the only country to win consecutively 3 times, and winning a year later in 1996.
- Ireland ranks fourth in cumulative points with 18 top 5 placings.
- Ireland is the only country to host the Contest consecutively and is one of the 8 countries never to turn down the chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
- Out of 47 appearances, Ireland has placed outside the top ten only 13 times (counting only the Finals).
- Ireland holds the record for most points from one country in a year in the 1 point per juror voting system achieving 9/10 from Belgium.
- Ireland has an average of 74 points per contest, the highest average 2 points above the United Kingdom.
Voting history (1975–2013)
Ireland benefits from "neighbourly" voting from the United Kingdom. Before the introduction of televoting Irish juries tended to award the United Kingdom more or less the same number of points as other countries did. Since the advent of televoting both countries have given above average points to each other; usually 8 points. In recent years Ireland has also voted for countries where a large diaspora live in Ireland, such as Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In 2008 Ireland gave 8 points to the UK, 10 to Poland and 12 to Latvia.
Statistically, Ireland is the fourteenth-best country at predicting a winner, giving an average of 8.41 points to the winning country every year over its 25 appearances since the current voting methods were implemented. Only twice (Turkey in 2003 and Azerbaijan in 2011) did Ireland fail to give any votes to the winning country.
Ireland has given the most points to...
Ireland has received the most points from...
NOTE: The totals in the above tables include only points awarded in Eurovision finals, and not the semi-finals since 2004.
Ireland is the only country to have hosted multiple Contests in succession; three in a row between 1993 and 1995. Six of the seven Contests held in Ireland have been held in Dublin; three at the Point Depot, two at the RDS and one at the Gaiety Theatre. In addition, the 1993 Contest was held in Millstreet, County Cork. During the 1994 contest, the dancing group Riverdance made their debut as an interval act.
|1971||Dublin||Gaiety Theatre||Bernadette Ní Ghallchóir|
|1981||Dublin||RDS Simmonscourt||Doireann Ní Bhriain|
|1988||Dublin||RDS Simmonscourt||Michelle Rocca and Pat Kenny|
|1993||Millstreet||Green Glens Arena||Fionnuala Sweeney|
|1994||Dublin||Point Depot||Cynthia Ní Mhurchú and Gerry Ryan|
|1995||Dublin||Point Depot||Mary Kennedy|
|1997||Dublin||Point Depot||Carrie Crowley and Ronan Keating|
Marcel Bezençon Awards
Artistic Award (Voted by commentators)
|Year||Performer||Song||Final Result||Points||Host city|
Commentators and spokespersons
Over the years RTÉ commentary has been provided by several experienced radio and television presenters, including Larry Gogan, Jimmy Greeley, Gay Byrne, Ronan Collins, Pat Kenny and Mike Murphy. However Marty Whelan has provided the RTÉ Television commentary since 2000 although Whelan himself had previously commentated for the 1987 event. Ireland did not participate in the 1983 edition in Germany, nor did they send a commentator to Munich that year, but instead broadcasted the BBC feed of the contest with Terry Wogan as commentator, who welcomed viewers in Ireland during his introduction. RTE Radio, however, did provide commentary by Brendan Balfe.
|Year(s)||Television commentator||Radio commentator||Spokesperson|
|1965||Bunny Carr||Kevin Roche||Frank Hall|
|1969||Gay Byrne||John Skehan|
|1971||Noel Andrews||No spokesperson|
|1972||Mike Murphy||Kevin Roche & Liam Devally|
|1978||Larry Gogan||John Skehan|
|1979||Mike Murphy||David Heffernan|
|1980||Larry Gogan||Pat Kenny|
|1983||Terry Wogan (via BBC)||Brendan Balfe||Ireland did not participate|
|1984||Gay Byrne||Larry Gogan||John Skehan|
|1989||Ronan Collins & Michelle Rocca||Eileen Dunne|
|1990||Jimmy Greeley & Clíona Ní Bhuachalla|
|2000||Marty Whelan||Derek Mooney|
|2001||Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh|
|2002||No radio commentary||Ireland did not participate|
|2008||Larry Gogan||Niamh Kavanagh|
|2011||Shay Byrne and Zbyszek Zalinski|
|2016||Neil Doherty and Zbyszek Zalinski||Sinéad Kennedy|
50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest
|Johnny Logan||"Hold Me Now"||3||262||1987||1||172|
|Johnny Logan||"What's Another Year?"||12||74||1980||1||143|