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What's another year? We're up for Eurovision as cash-strapped Poland and Portugal pull out

WE may be broke, but the last thing RTE intends to do is pull Ireland out of the Eurovision.

Poland and Portugal have both exited, citing economic reasons -- but defiant RTE bosses say, 'What's another year?'.

They say Ireland will definitely take its place in Sweden.

RTE has already put plans in place for the song contest.

"We will be sending an act representing Ireland to the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. The act will be decided on the Late Late Eurosong show on February 22," RTE said.

"The Eurovision is hugely popular. This year an average of over 750,000 people watched throughout the three-and-a-half-hour live final on RTE Two."

Eurovision guru Paul G Sheridan said that the decision of Portugal to pull out because of tightened budgets was a "temporary blip".



entourage

"Ireland exited for the exact same reasons in 1983. We said we would be back in 1984 and we were," he said.

"Poland said that they were exiting because of the Euro soccer championship this year. It is just a temporary blip.

"You have Spain and Greece still in the competition; they are in a far worse economic situation than we are, and it doesn't deter them."

Sheridan, who is regularly part of the entourage to Eurovision, said that RTE should not consider pulling out.

"No way, absolutely not," he said. "We have the record for the most victories and the number of top 10 placings.

"The rest of Europe expect us to be there.

"They are always interested to see what Ireland will throw up -- whether it be a turkey, a set of twins or the ballads that we are well known for."

RTE has retained the same mentoring procedure as for the past two years and five new mentors have been appointed.



line-up

In the coming weeks they will source songs and singers who will compete to represent the country.

Radio presenter Mairead Farrell, Eurovision song writer Shay Healy, DJ Mark McCabe, songwriter Niall Mooney and choreographer Stuart O'Connor comprise the line-up of mentors.

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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