IT’S A popular staple across Ireland and watched by countless millions across the world.
But this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is already facing its first crisis after Ukraine pulled out of this year’s event, which is due to take place in Israel this May.
The move comes amid ongoing political tensions with neighbouring Russia.
Popstar Maruv was originally selected to represent Ukraine at Eurovision after winning through a public vote to sing at the competition.
However, she withdrew from the contest after she was asked to sign a contract stating that she would not perform in Russia during the lead-up to the event.
Though the 27-year-old stated that she was willing to accept this clause, according to Maruv the contract contained several other clauses that would have made he a propaganda mouthpiece.
"I am a musician, rather than a tool of the political stage," she said in a short statement announcing her exit.
Since then two other bands approached by Ukraine’s national broadcaster have declined to take part.
As a result, Ukraine has now taken the decision not to take part in the contest.
The 2019 edition of Eurovision has already courted controversy with several artists either refusing to enter or calling for a widespread boycott of the competition because of Israel's treatment of Palestinian protestors.