There is no national final in Ireland anymore. In former years there was at least a little contest held in the LateLate show on Friday night. Nowadays the Irish broadcaster just makes an internal decision. Last year, Ireland could reach the Grand Final after several years. This year RTE decided to send Sarah Mc Ternan to Eurovision.
Sarah Mc Ternan was born in Scarriff, County Clare in 1994. She studied music technology at the University of Limerick, plays guitar, piano and tin whistle. Sarah took part in The Voice Ireland in 2015, where she could reach the third place. In 2018 Sarah took part in the selection process in San Marino and applied with the song “Eye Of The Storm”.
This year Sarah is going to represent Ireland with the unusual song title “22”. It’s not her age, but the house number of her beloved one. This is a calm and sophisticated song with a modern arrangement. This entry in unpretentious and uncomplicated. Let’s hope this song won’t be overheard in Tel Aviv.
Finals: 46 (8 since 2004)
Top 10: 31
Chances for Top 10: 58%
Chances for Final: 50%
For Ireland it will be the 53rd time participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. Ireland is still the most successful country in the ESC with seven victories, closely followed by Sweden with 6 victories. Additionally, Ireland still has the record of three successive victories 1992, 1993 and 1994 and then another time in 1996. These 1990’s were the golden years of Ireland in the ESC history.
Unfortunately, the jaunty times of the top positions and victories is over. This is due to several reasons e.g. the language rule was tilt in 1999, so from that year every participating country was able to sing in English or a language of preference. The unique advantage of the English speaking countries has gone. Furthermore the general interest has decreased dramatically thanks to the launch of the Semi Finals in 2004. Now Ireland has to go through the qualification process every year. And that’s where Ireland struggles. Maybe it’s a lack of good songs or the competition has become harder.
In the track record there is of course Johnny Logan, who could win two times as a singer with “What's Another Year” in 1980 and “Hold Me Now” in 1987. He could also win another time as a composer of “Why Me” sung by Linda Martin in 1992.
The chances for Ireland to be in the Top10 are still relatively high with 58%. Ireland and the music from Ireland is mostly connect with ethnic music and ballads. There were several attempts over the years to bring modern pop music. Best example here is Jedward who could bring new spirit into the contest with “Lipstick” in 2011 (8th place) and “Waterline” in 2012 (19th place). In the recent years Ireland was unsuccessful and did not pass the Semi Finals. Last year Ryan O’Shaugnessy could reach the Grand Final again and made a solid 16th place.
7x 1st place
Dana - "All Kinds Of Everything" (1970)
Johnny Logan - "What's Another Year" (1980)
Johnny Logan - "Hold Me Now" (1987)
Linda Martin - "Why Me" (1992)
Niamh Kavanagh - "In Your Eyes" (1993)
Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan - "Rock 'n' Roll Kids" (1994)
Eimear Quinn - "The Voice" (1996)
4x 2nd place
Sean Dunphy - "If I Could Choose" (1967)
Linda Martin - "Terminal '3'" (1984)
Liam Reilly - "Somewhere In Europe" (1990)
Marc Roberts - "Mysterious Woman" (1995)
1x 3rd place
The Swarbriggs Plus Two - "It's Nice To Be In Love Again" (1977)