Ireland’s Head of Delegation Michael Kealy has appeared on the latest episode of “The Euro Trip” podcast, where he talked about all things Eurovision. These include the potential date for Ireland’s 2022 National Final, as well as the number of songs submitted in their search. In addition to this, Michael mentioned that he would be “delighted” if Ireland was represented by a song in the Irish language at Eurovision.
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“It’s all down to the song”
When James Rowe (one of the presenters of The Euro Trip) asked Michael if he’s like to see the Irish language in the contest, the Irish Head of Delegation said Yes but elaborated further to his answer:
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
Furthermore, Michael also talked about what’s the next steps, for Ireland’s Eurovision 2022 selection where Michael revealed that a panel of 12 people have been assembled to shortlist the songs. Once that’s done, a panel of 20-25 people (made of people who work in the music business, television radio, and Eurovision fans) will then look at the entries.
When asked if the quality of the songs are good, Michael had the following to say:
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.”
The Irish language at Eurovision
We have heard Irish a few times in Ireland’s Eurovision history. There has only been one entry in Irish in the countries 54 appearances at the senior Eurovision Song Contest. In 1972 Sandie Jones represented Ireland at Eurovision with the song “Ceol an Ghrá”. Sandie finished in 15th place at Eurovision 1972 after scoring 72 points.
However, the Irish language is a lot more prominent at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Since Ireland debuted at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015, all their entries have been in Irish. TG4 is the main broadcaster for Junior Eurovision in Ireland, which is also the Irish-speaking broadcaster in the country. Ireland’s most successful entry at Junior Eurovision came in 2016. Zena Donnelly represented Ireland with her song “Brice ar Bhrice”, she finished 10th at the contest with 122 points.
Ireland’s Eurovision Journey
Ireland debuted at Eurovision in 1965 with Butch Moore’s “Walking the Streets in the Rain”, which finished in sixth place. They have gone on to win the contest a record seven times, most recently with Eimear Quinn’s “The Voice” in 1996. Though they have been less successful in recent years, they have still turned out memorable entries such as Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s “Together”, which qualified for the Grand Final in 2018 and finished in 16th place.
Most recently, Lesley Roy represented Ireland at Eurovision 2021 with the song “Maps”. Her ambitious staging ultimately was not enough to qualify Ireland to the Grand Final. However, “Maps”, along with her 2020 entry “Story of My Life”, have both become fan-favourites.
Would you like to hear Ireland sing in Irish at Eurovision? Could it improve Ireland’s fortunes at the contest? Let us know in the comments or on social. Be sure to follow THAT Eurovision Site on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
News Source: The Euro Trip/Eurovoix
Photo Source: EBU/Andres Putting