'Everything should be on the table' for Ireland's Eurovision selection - head of delegation

Michael Kealy said RTÉ is constrained by 'resourcing and financing' unlike a number of other countries
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.56 13 May 2023

Share this article

'Everything should be on the t...

'Everything should be on the table' for Ireland's Eurovision selection - head of delegation

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09.56 13 May 2023

Share this article

Every option should be on the table when it comes to selecting Ireland's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The head of Ireland's delegation, Michael Kealy, has said he is open to 'any method' that gets a good result.

Ireland missed out on a place in this year's Grand Final on Saturday.


We have failed to qualify for the final since 2018, with Ryan O'Shaughnessy's song 'Together'.

Mr Kealy told The Hard Shoulder it does not get any easier.

"I'm not going to lie, it's not an unusual thing to happen to us in the last number of years," he said.

"It's not a great feeling, it doesn't get any easier every year it happens.

"We live in hope we'll come back and we'll fight again another day".

'Resourcing and financing'

Mr Kealy said Ireland's selection process is constrained by finances.

"One of the things that we probably don't do in RTÉ - and it's down to resourcing and financing - is that we don't have a selection process like other countries," he said.

"For instance Norway, Sweden, Finland have very successful shows that run over a number of weeks - six or eight weeks - and they would select an act over that period of time.

"That very often gives the public a very good idea of what the act that they're sending is.

"Also it does help that the fans, the hardcore fans around Europe, get to know the act before they actually arrive in Liverpool or wherever it is.

"It's down to resources, it's down to money - we don't have a never-ending pot of money from which to make entertainment shows".

'It's all up for debate'

Mr Kealy said running the selection process over several weeks could be an option.

"It's all up for a debate I suppose, at the moment they've yet to announce who's the incoming presenter of The Late Late Show," he said.

"There maybe a new team coming in, so all of that stuff is up for discussion.

"I think everything should be on the table to have a look at, absolutely.

"I would be open to any method of selecting a song that will get us a decent result".

Mr Kealy said ultimately, Ireland needs 'a certain X Factor'.

"This isn't a science, it's an artistic endeavour and you're competing against up to nearly 40 other countries," he said.

"It is tough and it just depends on a lot of things coming together and there's a certain X Factor, I suppose, that you can't put your finger on.

"It can be illusive at times.

"We've had a pretty bad streak in the last few years, but we're not alone in that.

"You just have to keep going back and trying again year after year," he added.

Listen back here:

Main image: Split-screen image shows Ireland's entry Wild Youth performing at the first semi-final, and the Eurovision stage in Liverpool, England. Picture by: Corinne Cumming/EBU/Nick Robinson/BBC

Share this article

Read more about

Eurovision Eurovision Song Contest Finland Head Of Ireland's Delegation Ireland Michael Kealy Norway RTE Sweden The Hard Shoulder

Most Popular