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Ireland’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest journey so far…

On November 26th, the crystal anniversary of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will take place. Indeed, Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi will host the 15th edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Therefore it is the perfect time to look back at the journeys of some of this year’s participating countries in the contest so far. Therefore, following Ireland’s recent entry announcement, let’s take a look at Ireland’s Junior Eurovision journey.

Quick facts

  • Country: Ireland
  • Broadcaster: TG4
  • Debut appearance: 2015
  • Number of participations: 2 (2015-2016)
  • Highest finish: 10th (2016)
  • Lowest finish: 12th (2015)

Back to the very beginning…

For Ireland, we don’t have to go back too far! After a failed attempt to get funding to enter the 2014 contest, Ireland eventually made their debut in 2015. Ireland’s Junior Eurovision project is masterminded by Irish language broadcaster TG4. They hosted a multi-week televised national selection, Junior Eurovision Éire,  which was won by Aimee Banks.

Aimee’s entry Réalta na mara lined up against 16 other entries in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia. The pop-opera ballad finished in 12th place. Nevertheless, Aimee would have secured a top 10 finish if televotes alone had decided the results. The contest was won by Malta’s Destiny Chukunyere. Not My Soul broke the points record at the time on its way to victory, while Armenia’s Mika and Slovenia’s Lina Kuduzović took the second and third prizes.

Ireland’s journey so far

After their debut in 2015, TG4 were back again a year later in Valletta for the 2016 contest. The broadcaster used the same selection format as in 2015 and this time Zena Donnelly was victorious. Zena had entered the selection process in the previous year too, finishing in 2nd place behind Aimee.

Zena’s performance of Bríce ar Bhríce in Valletta earned Ireland their best result to date, finishing in 10th place with 122 points. It was a comfortable 10th place too, Zena scored more than double the points Poland scored in 11th place. The 2016 contest saw Ireland sing in English for the first time too. For the contest, Zena translated the final chorus of her song into English while the rest of her song stayed in Irish.

Looking ahead to 2017

Despite this year’s national selection not yet reaching its conclusion, the Irish entry has been revealed via the release of the official Junior Eurovision 2017 album. All of the details you need can be found in our previous article here!

My favourite Irish entry!

There’s only a couple to choose from here and for me, they are both fairly evenly matched. Purely because I prefer pop to classical, my preference is Zena’s Bríce ar Bhríce. I loved the addition of the English chorus at the end of her live performance, it definitely gave the song an extra lift. Zena’s professionalism shines through and was a great opening to the show in Valletta.

Which is your favourite Irish Junior Eurovision entry so far? Furthermore, are you looking forward to their performance in Tbilisi? Make sure you tell us in the comments section below and via our social media pages @ESCXTRA!

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Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

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