Friday 24 May 2019

Only hope survives as RTE refuses to give up after latest Eurovision flop

Ryan Dolan of Ireland performs the song 'Only Love Survives' during the final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest
Ryan Dolan of Ireland performs the song 'Only Love Survives' during the final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest
The scoreboard showing Ireland’s final tally

Brian O'Reilly, Laura Butler and Allison Bray

RTE HAS defended Ireland's Eurovision result and insisted that, despite finishing in last place, an act will be sent to compete in the song contest next year.

Singer Ryan Dolan (27) failed to impress audiences with his song 'Only Love Survives'.

The result was Ireland's worst since 2009, when Sinead Mulvey and Black Daisy failed to qualify for the final in Moscow, Russia.

Michael Kealy, head of the delegation, told the Irish Independent that the Celtic tone of the performance proved unpopular with audiences.

Kealy said a review would take place in the coming weeks to improve our chances in the future.

"There's obviously huge disappointment because we don't come with the aim of coming last, we come with the aim of doing best in the competition," he said.

"I don't know what the problem is. I thought we presented a great act, Ryan sang brilliantly and the song was catchy.

"The Celtic aspect obviously wasn't everyone's cup of tea, and I think that was largely the case."


He continued: "The contest has changed from the '90s when we used to win it. It's a difficult thing to qualify for the final. Despite the result, our track record in recent times in getting to the final is very strong."

Mr Kealy claimed he did not know the exact sum spent to send a delegation of 17 people to Malmo, Sweden, but said that "costs were kept to an absolute minimum".

"We stayed in the cheapest official hotel on offer, we always do it on a cost-effective basis and we even keep the delegation to a minimum compared to other entries.

"Azerbaijan had to split their delegation over three hotels, so we really don't spend a lot of money on our efforts."

Meanwhile, Ryan Dolan arrived home to Dublin Airport to cheers and applause late last night despite his disappointing finish.

He said he has "no regrets" about competing in the long-running competition.

"Of course I'm disappointed with the result, but that's Eurovision, you just never know how it's going to go on the night.

"I felt we put in a really strong performance, but unfortunately luck wasn't on our side.

"I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. I've enjoyed every single minute of it and it's opened so many doors to me internationally," the 27-year-old told the Irish Independent.

Denmark won Saturday's final with 'Only Teardrops' – a song that had been the runaway favourite with bookmakers in the weeks leading up to the show.

we must leave this pain-fest: page 27

Irish Independent

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