Eurovision 2019 will take place in Tel-Aviv, Israel, next May. Given the political situation in Israel and around it, there has been several calls for boycott in different countries in Europe, as well as in Australia. Ireland was one of the first country where important calls for boycott were made, with Charlie McGettigan (1994 winner) supporting such calls. And despite broadcaster RTÉ confirming participation last month, the Irish Sun reports that Irish songwriters might boycott the contest.
Calls for boycotting Eurovision
Before Ireland confirmed its participation last month, several figures of the Irish Musical Industry had spoken up in support of an Irish boycott, to protest about the Palestinian situation. Among them was Charlie McGettigan, who won Eurovision in 1994 with Paul Harrington.
We have sympathy for nearly two million oppressed people living on a small piece of land and being treated very badly by the Israelis.Charlie McGettigan
RTÉ’s confirmation regarding Eurovision didn’t stop those songwriters, and it seems they are now considering boycotting the contest on a professional level, with the IASCA.
A debate should take place
In 2011, Irish music writers created a new union, the IASCA: the Irish Association of Songwriters, Composers & Authors. The IASCA’s official mission is to “listen to the concerns of [IASCA] members, endeavor to find solutions and provide one voice with which to lobby on their behalf” wether it be on the national or the international scene.
Sinead Troy, the head of the IASCA, told the Irish Sun that the association would have a debate on wether boycotting the contest or not.
Should we protest? […] Should Ireland even be involved in Eurovision next year? That’s what we will be asking.Sinead Troy, General Manager of the IASCA
Sinead Troy calls for a debate, and as General Manager would obviously enfore whatever comes out of this debate. However, she has her own opinion and has stated that she fully supported Charlie McGettigan’s opinion.
I think Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people is disgusting. This has been going on too long, and now is the time to stand up and be counted.Sinead Troy, General Manager of the IASCA
What do you think? Should the IASCA consider boycotting the contest? If they do, should Ireland send a song written by foreign composers? Tell us more in the comments below or on social media at @escxtra!