RTE seek singers for Eurovision 2019 despite calls for Israeli boycott

RTE seek singers for Eurovision 2019 despite calls for Israeli boycott

IRELAND'S national broadcaster RTE is looking for entrants for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, which is scheduled to be held in Tel Aviv next May.

They’re inviting accomplished songwriters and performers to submit a song to represent Ireland at the competition.

Earlier this year, Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s ‘Together’ came in 16th place with a total score of 136 points.

Songwriters have until 5pm on Friday November 23rd to submit their entries for the 65th version of the competition.

However, several high-profile people within the Irish music industry have called for next year’s event in Israel to be boycotted as an act of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Former winner of the competition Charlie McGettigan, former Eurovision presenters Carrie Crowley and Doireann Ni Bhriain, musicians Christy Moore, Mary Black, Paul Brady and Steve Wall as well as both the Musicians’ Union of Ireland and Irish Equity.

Last week, the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign issued a petition containing 11,000 signatures to RTE director-general Dee Forbes asking that the broadcaster boycott the event.

Back in August, the broadcaster held their second Eurovision forum, inviting music industry professionals and Eurovision fans to discuss current trends in the competition as well as hearing from international experts. As well as publicly inviting submissions, RTÉ are actively engaging with professionals in the music industry to ensure that Ireland gets the very best act to represent the country.

Michael Kealy, Executive Producer and Head of Irish Delegation, has said: "We were really proud of the Irish performance in Lisbon this year. Months of work went into planning our Eurovision act, bringing together the various audio and visual elements, from song arrangement to choreography to lighting design.

"The performance of 'Together' by Ryan O'Shaughnessy and dancers Kevin O'Dywer and Alan McGrath with backing vocals from Janet Grogan, Remy Naidoo and Claire Ann Varley received worldwide acclaim when performed on stage and created headlines around the world. 'Together' placed 16th in the final which is the best result since Jedward came in eighth place in Dussledorf with 'Lipstick' in 2011."

Mr Kealy added that Ireland needs a “world-class act” to pose a threat in next year’s competition.

Submissions can be made here.