Tel Aviv 2019

RTÉ refuse to comment on Ireland’s Eurovision 2019 participation prospects contacted the broadcaster for an update on their Eurovision 2019 preparations

Since Israel’s victory in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest, there have been calls from within Ireland for the nation to boycott the 2019 contest hosted in Israel. Last week, a campaign was launched by the IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign).  Nevertheless, prior to the launch of the campaign, Irish deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney rejected calls for a boycott. Therefore, we have contacted RTÉ to ask for an update on their participation prospects.

Declining to comment contacted RTÉ and we appreciate the swift response received. RTÉ’s statement on the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest was as follows:

RTÉ won’t be commenting at this time on next year’s Eurovision.

Government says no to boycott

RTÉ’s refusal to take a stance at this stage is interesting considering the Irish deputy Prime Minister’s recent comments that “ruled out” any chance of a boycott of an Israeli-hosted 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. As explained by the Irish Times, Coveney didn’t believe that an Irish Eurovision boycott “would advance the cause of Palestinians”. The deputy Prime Minister explains that his current focus is to try “to bring an end to the violence [between Israel and Palestine]”.

Eurovision success in Lisbon

Back in May, Ireland secured a 16th place finish in the grand final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. As a result, Ryan O’Shaughnessy gave Ireland their best finish at the contest since 2011. In Düsseldorf, Jedward finished in eighth place with Lipstick. Interestingly, prior to the live first semi-final in Lisbon, Together wasn’t fancied as a potential qualifier. Nevertheless, the extremely effective performance created by the Irish delegation resulted in Ireland leaping up the odds into the top three. While Ryan’s final result didn’t match up to the eventual hype in the betting odds, Ireland were surely pleased with their success in Portugal and their first qualification since 2013.
The X Factor UK contestants Sean and Conor Price recently revealed they would consider representing Ireland in a future Eurovision Song Contest. Perhaps they will be on RTÉ’s wishlist… if they do participate in Israel next year.

What do you make of RTÉ’s decision to refuse a comment at this stage? Are they right to keep quiet as boycott campaigns are ongoing despite the Government’s insistence that Ireland would not boycott? Let us know in the comments below!

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