This 13th October, Irish broadcaster RTÉ will host a special Eurovision concert at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Hosted by Ireland’s Eurovision commentator since 2000, Mr. Marty Whelan, RTÉ is promising a “celebration of Eurovision and our winning singers and composers.”
The invited artists will be accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Bell, and each will be given time to sing other songs, and discuss their Eurovision memories and its “place in their lives and careers” with Marty.
The line-up includes former Irish Eurovision winners, including Johnny Logan (1980, 1987), Linda Martin (1992), Niamh Kavanagh (1993), Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan (1994), and Eimear Quinn (1996).
If you’ve counted six of Ireland’s seven wins in that list and believe a mistake has been made, there has not. Ireland’s very first Eurovision winner, Dana (1970) has not been asked to take part in the festivities.
Dana responded yesterday to this apparent snub during a chat with Evoke
I wasn’t asked, nobody asked me or even told me about it. Eurovision in 1970 was Ireland’s first and it changed my life forever. […] Had I been asked I would have been delighted to have taken part. I share so much with Ireland’s other Eurovision winners. […] They’re all my friends and we share a unique situation that Eurovision changed our lives forever.
Her brother added that taking part in the RTÉ Concert “wasn’t even floated by” Dana, and that given the artists will be speaking about what Eurovision means to each artist, “nobody has a story like Dana.”
She opened the door for Irish artists in England. She opened the door and put Ireland on the map. She became a politician because of it. She became a TV presenter because of it. […] ‘She’s just at a loss as to why they wouldn’t even contact her. Even if they were to contact and say: ‘We’re doing this but there is no room for you…’ But they never even contacted her. […] It is astonishing. With all respect to the other winners, they haven’t had the life that she has had because of Eurovision. It’s a strange one.
Eurofans wishing to attend RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s Eurovision Night on 13th October can purchase tickets online starting from €22.50.
A spokeswoman for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra simply had this to say when asked about Dana’s omission from the Concert line-up: “This concert is still being produced at this point.”