Is it time that Ireland leaves the Eurovison Song Contest?
We all remember the glory days of Ireland in the Eurovision when we seemed to be always winning the Contest or at least in the running for a Top 10 placing.
Since the new millennium we’ve certainly lost our way. We didn’t keep up with the musical tastes of European countries and now we can’t even qualify for the competition!
And to make matters worse, it was revealed this week that it cost RTE a whopping €331,000 to send Brendan Murray and his song ‘Dying to Try’ to Kiev.
Ireland failed to qualify for the Grand Final for AGAIN. The last time Ireland made the final was in 2013 when Ryan Dolan came last in the final!
RTE have justified the money that they spent on the contest saying that it brought good value for money.
The spend this year included the competition entry fee of €84,500 but not RTE labour costs and the 16 members of a delegation sent to the contest in Ukraine.
RTE spent €337,000 on former Westlife singer Nicky Byrnes’s performance in Stockholm in 2016.
RTE were also in the news for reporting a deficit of €19.6m in 2016. In defending the cost, an RTE spokesperson said that entering the competition allowed RTE to deliver seven and a half hours of entertainment to Irish viewers.
The spokesperson also said that "This year, an average 273,000 viewers tuned in over the course of the three nights of the contest, representing a 21pc share," defending this as "excellent value for money for RTE and for Irish television licence-fee payers".
So what do you think Ireland should do when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest? Does it provide value for money for the viewer who pays their TV license? Are the costs associated with entering the contest too expensive and could they be spent more wisely by RTE?
And maybe you think we just need to pull out of this yearly competition.
Should Ireland pull out of the Eurovision song contest?