THE task of selecting an entrant for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was overshadowed by an on-screen row on RTÉ at the weekend.
The spat, between Louis Walsh, Linda Martin and Aslan’s Billy McGuinness , on The Late Late Show’s Eurovision special, happened before and after Eurosong contestant Laura O’Neill took to the stage to perform You Don’t Remember Me.
Before O'Neill's performance, Billy McGuinness of Aslan - the singer’s mentor - angrily claimed that his contestant was not being given “a level playing field” on which to compete.
He slammed X Factor judge Louis Walsh for being on the panel, pointing out that the last three winners of Eurosong were all linked to the music impresario.
After Laura had performed her song, the row continued with former Eurovision winner Linda Martin, also part of the judging panel, weighing in on the side of Walsh. She rose from her seat to confront McGuinness after calling him “an odious little man”.
After calm was restored by host Ryan Tubridy, who at one stage looked as if he might have to step in between Martin and McGuinness, the panel chose Heartbeat performed by traditional band Can-Linn featuring Kasey Smith.
The singer was previously in girlband Wonderland – put together by Louis and Kian Egan.
She will now represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song contest in Copenhagen in May.