independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Mr Europe

Johnny Logan has won the Eurovision more times than anyone else. No one knows more than him the benefits of being a European

Eurovision legend Johnny Logan

What’s Another Year’, ‘Hold Me Now’ and ‘Why Me’ – who could ever forget these Europop classics? Johnny Logan certainly won’t..These songs launched his glittering career which has spanned over three decades and taken him to every corner of Europe.

Having won the Eurovision song contest on three occasions, Logan notes that his success stems from a competition which was designed to unite Europeans.

“Many people don’t realise that the Eurovision song contest was used as a great way to introduce different European countries to each other,” he says.

Each year Logan benefits from his EU right to travel. He regularly embarks on tours which take him to multiple European destinations. In fact, we interview Logan in his Copenhagen hotel-room as he prepares for yet another show.

“I’m constantly on tour,” he says. “Europe has given me a great living and a great career for the past 30 years.

“As an artist I am so grateful that I can travel all over Europe and work with such freedom.”

Logan, who still lives in Ashbourne, Co Meath, bases his business in Germany.

“We must never forget how much we have benefited from joining Europe. And we can still benefit from it in the future,” he says. “I think that the EU legislation regarding airlines in particular has been great. Now, if your flight is cancelled, you can only sit in an airport for a couple of hours before the airline is obliged to feed you.”

Logan has seen great changes in Europe over the last 30 years. He believes that Irish people should give their full backing to the European project.

“The European community has grown a lot. Today, there is a lot more understanding between countries. People can travel between countries to find work and I think that is a really good thing. As Irish people, we should support that because we are a country that has had to go abroad to work throughout the generations.”

With the European Parliament elections on the horizon, many citizens may be asking themselves ‘why should I vote?’ However, Logan is eager to encourage all European citizens to vote and have their say. “Problems can be dealt with. That’s what the politicians are for. But if you ignore something you can’t correct it.

“I vote at every election. My attitude is that the right to vote is a very precious thing. Many people gave their lives for me to have this right. I feel I would be letting people down by not exercising my right to vote. And I always encourage all of my family to vote as well. Everybody has the right to vote or not to vote. But I consider it my duty as an Irish person to use that right.”

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