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Ireland
Eurovisionirelandlogo
Appearances 47 (44 in finals)
First appearance 1965
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. 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", Ireland's entry in 1972, 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 Eurovision Song 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.

ParticipationEdit

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. This year Ryan Dolan represented Ireland in Malmö, Sweden. After surviving the semi-final, the act ended last in the final.  Since then, the country has failed to qualify every year.

RecordsEdit

  • 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.

Contestants Edit

Year Artist Title Final Points Semi Points
1965 Butch Moore "Walking the Streets in the Rain" 6 11

2

198

1966 Dickie Rock "Come Back to Stay" 4 14
1967 Sean Dunphy "If I Could Choose" 2 22
1968 Pat McGeegan "Chance of a Lifetime" 4 18
1969 Muriel Day "The Wages of Love" 7 10
1970 Dana "All Kinds of Everything" 1 32
1971 Angela Farrell "One Day Love" 11 79
1972 Sandie Jones "Ceol an Ghrá" 15 72
1973 Maxi "Do I Dream" 10 80
1974 Tina Reynolds "Cross Your Heart" 7 11
1975 The Swarbriggs "That's What Friends Are For" 9 68
1976 Red Hurley "When" 10 54
1977 The Swarbriggs Plus Two "It's Nice To Be In Love Again" 3 119
1978 Colm 'C.T.' Wilkinson "Born to Sing" 5 86
1979 Cathal Dunne "Happy Man" 5 80
1980 Johnny Logan "What's Another Year?" 1 143
1981 Sheeba "Horoscopes" 5 105
1982 The Duskeys "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" 11 49
1984 Linda Martin "Terminal 3" 2 137
1985 Maria Christian "Wait Until the Weekend Comes" 6 91
1986 Luv Bug "You Can Count On Me" 4 96
1987 Johnny Logan "Hold Me Now" 1 172
1988 Jump The Gun "Take Him Home" 8 79
1989 Kiev Connolly & The Missing Passengers "The Real Me" 18 21
1990 Liam Reilly "Somewhere In Europe" 2 132
1991 Kim Jackson "Could It Be That I'm In Love" 10 47
1992 Linda Martin "Why Me?" 1 155
1993 Niamh Kavanagh "In Your Eyes" 1 187
1994 Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan "Rock 'n' Roll Kids" 1 226
1995 Eddie Friel "Dreamin'" 14 44
1996 Eimear Quinn "The Voice" 1 162
1997 Marc Roberts "Mysterious Woman" 2 157
1998 Dawn Martin "Is Always Over Now?" 9 64
1999 The Mullans "When You Need Me" 17 18
2000 Eamonn Toal "Millennium of Love" 6 92
2001 Gary O'Shaughnessy "Without Your Love" 21 6
2003 Mickey Harte "We've Got the World" 11 53
2004 Chris Doran "If My World Stopped Turning" 23 7 X X
2005 Donna and Joe "Love?" X X 14 53
2006 Brian Kennedy "Every Song Is a Cry for Love" 10 93 9 76
2007 Dervish "They Can't Stop the Spring" 24 5 X X
2008 Dustin the Turkey "Irelande Douze Pointe" X X 15 22
2009 Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy "Et Cetera" X X 11 52
2010 Niamh Kavanagh "It's for You" 23 25 9 67
2011 Jedward "Lipstick" 8 119 8 68
2012 Jedward "Waterline" 19 46 6 92
2013 Ryan Dolan "Only Love Survives" 26 5 8 54
2014 Can-Linn feat. Casey Smith "Heartbeat" X X 12 35
2015 Molly Sterling "Playing With Numbers" X X 12 35
2016 Nicky Byrne "Sunlight" X X 15 46
2017 Brendan Murray "Dying to Try" X X 13 86
  • XX on the semi-finals denotes auto-qualification. This could be the result of one of the following two reasons; if a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. The other reason being that back in 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten with Spain and the United Kingdom finishing after 15th place, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.
  • XX on the finals denotes an unsuccessful attempt at qualifying to the final.

Voting history (1975–2013)Edit

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...

Rank Country Points
1 United Kingdom 183
2 Sweden 134
3 Germany 127
4 France 123
5 Norway 117

Ireland has received the most points from...

Rank Country Points
1 United Kingdom 237
2 Sweden 207
3 Switzerland 156
4 Norway 151
5 Austria 146

NOTE: The totals in the above tables include only points awarded in Eurovision finals, and not the semi-finals since 2004.

Hostings Edit

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.

Year Location Venue Presenters
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 Edit

Artistic Award (Voted by commentators)

Year Performer Song Final Result Points Host city
2011 Jedward "Lipstick" 8th 119 Düsseldorf

Commentators and spokespersonsEdit

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 RocheFrank Hall
1966 Brendan O'Reilly
1967 Gay Byrne
1968
1969 Gay Byrne John Skehan
1970 Valerie McGovern
1971 Noel Andrews No spokesperson
1972 Mike Murphy Kevin Roche & Liam Devally
1973 Liam Devally
1974 Brendan Balfe
1975
1976
1977
1978 Larry Gogan John Skehan
1979 Mike Murphy David Heffernan
1980 Larry Gogan Pat Kenny
1981 John Skehan
1982
1983 Terry Wogan (via BBC) Brendan Balfe Ireland did not participate
1984 Gay Byrne Larry Gogan John Skehan
1985 Linda Martin
1986 Brendan Balfe
1987 Marty Whelan
1988 Mike Murphy
1989 Ronan Collins & Michelle RoccaEileen Dunne
1990 Jimmy Greeley & Clíona Ní Bhuachalla
1991 Pat Kenny
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999 Clare McNamara
2000 Marty Whelan Derek Mooney
2001 Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh
2002 No radio commentary Ireland did not participate
2003 Pamela Flood
2004 Johnny Logan
2005 Dana
2006 Eimear Quinn
2007 Linda Martin
2008 Larry Gogan Niamh Kavanagh
2009 Maxi Derek Mooney
2010
2011 Shay Byrne and Zbyszek Zalinski
2012 Gráinne Seoige
2013 Nicky Byrne
2014
2015
2016 Neil Doherty and Zbyszek Zalinski Sinéad Kennedy
2017 Nicky Byrne

50 Years of the Eurovision Song ContestEdit

Artist Title Place Points Year Original Place Points
Johnny Logan "Hold Me Now" 3 262 1987 1 172
Johnny Logan "What's Another Year?" 12 74 1980 1 143

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