- 04 Oct 18
The state broadcaster has announced the annual call-out for entries for the Eurovision song competition, which is set to take place in Tel-Aviv in 2019.
The Eurovision Song Contest, the largest entertainment show in the world, drew in 189 million viewers for this year's contest in Lisbon, Portugal, where Ryan O'Shaughnessy performed 'Together' as Ireland's entry.
Now RTÉ has issued an announcement for new entries to represent the country at next year's contest. The broadcaster's website states it is, "inviting songwriters and performers, who have a proven track record of success in the music industry, to submit a song to be considered to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest next May".
Ireland has won the Eurovision song contest seven times in total, the last time in 1996. In this year's contest, O'Shaughnessy's 'Together' ranked 16th in the final, making it Ireland's best result since twins Jedward competed in the contest with their song "Lipstick" in 2011.
Executive Producer and Head of Irish Delegation Michael Kealy said: “for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 we want to produce a world-class act that will do Ireland proud on stage in Tel Aviv and in front of a worldwide audience of nearly 200 million people."
"The Eurovision Song Contest is incredibly competitive so we need a top class song, with instant appeal and a highly experienced act who is used to performing live in front of large audiences".
Following Israel's win, the 2019 contest is set to take place in Tel Aviv, which has sparked much controversy.
Former RTÉ producer and former member of the Irish Human Rights-Equality Commission, Betty Purcell has said that a number of RTÉ journalists and programme personnel are deeply concerned about the location for next year's competition.
Moreover, this call for entries comes just days after RTÉ said it would not sanction staff members who refuse to travel to Israel for the 2019 Eurovision song contest.
Additionally, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign has called for Ireland and the state broadcaster to boycott the event "due to Israel's oppression of the Palestinian People".
The closing date for submissions is 5pm on Friday, November 23, 2018.