Ireland: Commentator Marty Whelan calls for return to national final

by Eleanor Cooper 1,127 views

Could the Irish national broadcaster, RTE, potentially revert to selecting their Eurovision entrant via a national final once again?

The rumour mill began last month after Brendan Murray failed to qualify to the final of the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, making it four years in a row that Ireland have missed out on the final.

RTE is due to carry out its annual review into its Eurovision participation over the Summer, and the possibility of allowing the public to select an entry is growing ever more likely.

‘Another formula’ for 2018?

RTE’s Eurovision commentator, Marty Whelan, has voiced his opinion on how they can improve on their performance for 2018. He said it was “very upsetting” commentating on the Eurovision final when Ireland was not present.

We’re having a meeting in a few weeks’ time about it. But the point is, we can have meetings till we’re blue in the face but all we can do is have a plan. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work. It just means, ‘here’s another idea.’ Brendan was good this year and the song was decent. But it didn’t get through. It’s four years in a row and we don’t need that again. We need to be in the final so we’re just going to see if we can come up with another formula.

Marty, who has been the Irish voice for the contest for 19 years, said that Ireland is “doing nothing wrong”.

We’re doing the best we can. There’s nothing wrong with it. This year, you could say, ‘How could a song from Portugal, sung in Portuguese – how could it win? But the song was gorgeous and it won. That doesn’t normally happen. Normally it’s pyrotechnics and dancers and mini-skirts and shouting and roaring. It wasn’t that this year, it was different. So you just try and send the best you can. Maybe it’s time for a National Song contest again, maybe it isn’t. Maybe we need to make a song ourselves and those of us who have an involvement over the years need to sit in a room and have a conversation.

Ireland were represented by Brendan Murray at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, with the song Dying to try. He finished in 13th place with 86 points in the second semi-final, thus missing out on the final.


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