In 1994 RTÉ took the interval act from the Eurovision Song Contest and turned it into a fundraiser for Rwandan refugees–and a worldwide phenomenon called Riverdance. This year Ireland will exploit its stellar ESC record of 7 wins to raise money for tsunami relief in South and South East Asia.
With one Irishwoman confirmed dead and a dozen others still unaccounted for, the direct impact of the Asian tsunami in Ireland has been relatively small. Regardless, donations to tsunami relief have been high–over 2 million Euros from the public and 10 million from the Government.
Now all the Irish winners of Eurovision are uniting for a charity concert at Dublin's Olympia Theatre on 23 January. The six artists whose performances won�Dana, Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan, Eimear Quinn and of course Johnny Logan (who won twice)–will be joined onstage by recent entrants Mickey Harte and Chris Doran. All proceeds will go to tsunami victims.
As an added bonus, many of the original dancers from the 1994 interval act Riverdance will reprise their roles. RTÉ turned a video of the original Riverdance performance (featuring Anúna, Jean Butler and Michael Flatley) into a successful fundraiser for Rwandan refugees, prior to mounting the stage version that toured the world.
The complete list of Irish Eurovision Song Contest Winners is:
1970 Dana All Kinds of Everything
1980 Johnny Logan What�s Another Year
1987 Johnny Logan Hold Me Now
1992 Linda Martin Why Me?
1993 Niamh Kavanagh In Your Eyes
1994 Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan Rock and Roll Kids
1996 Eimear Quinn The Voice