Former X Factor star Mary Byrne has defended the Voice of Ireland as a vital programme to showcase talent.
ome criticism has been levelled towards the show as Manchester singer Denise Morgan (right), who didn't make it through on the Voice UK, made the live shows here on Sunday night.
But Mary said that the progamme is important for the Irish music scene.
"There's very little industry here so even to just have a platform to showcase the talent we have in this country, we need something like that," she told the Herald.
"We need to show that we've got talent here, not just to us but to other countries as well."
RTE recently put out a call for the submission of ideas for a new family-friendly show for Sunday nights but Mary (55) thinks it would be a shame for the national broadcaster to drop the show.
"If channels like ITV can run shows like the X Factor for years then why can't RTE keep a show like The Voice?" she said. "But we need to keep refreshing them as well - with the panels or the format, but they are important especially in a small country like Ireland."
The Ballyfermot native rose to fame on the X Factor in 2010 and said she wished there had been more made of the winners of The Voice.
"It's entertainment and it's a great show but the sad thing is that there's no follow-up from the winners," she said.
It was revealed yesterday that the first auditions of the 2015 season of the X Factor will take place at Croke Park in Dublin. The live auditions are taking place at more than 50 locations across Ireland and the UK and Dublin will be first on the agenda as the judges look to uncover the nation's next big singing star
Fans of the show can show off their skills on Wednesday, April 8 and Thursday, April 9 at Croker.