Irish Eurovision Winners“People need music more than ever now.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Calling in from their homes across the world from Sydney to Switzerland, six Irish Eurovision winners joined Ray D’Arcy on Friday afternoon: Dana, Linda Martin, Eimear Quinn, Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan.

It had all the chaos, in-jokes and random interruptions of a late-night Zoom chat with your closest friends and Ray let the performers catch up and enjoy the Eurovision love-in for a few minutes before he deployed the killer question. Which winning Irish Eurovision entry was each performer’s favourite song, apart from their own?

Charlie McGettigan gave a long meandering answer about Ireland’s 1967 Eurovision entry If I Could Choose (not a winner), Dana declared, “I love them all” and Eimear Quinn said it felt like being chosen last for basketball at school. It took a while, but eventually all six of them named their favourite.

And here are the results:

Niamh Kavanagh’s favourite is Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids (1994 winner for Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan, written by Brendan Graham)

Eimear Quinn also named Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids as her top pick.

Dana picked In Your Eyes (1993 winner for Niamh Kavanagh, written by Jimmy Walsh)

Linda Martin went for All Kinds of Everything (1970 winner for Dana, written by Derry Lindsay and Jackie Smith)

Paul Harrington chose Hold Me Now (1987 winner for Johnny Logan, who also wrote the song)

And finally, Paul’s co-winner Charlie McGettigan said his favourite was What’s Another Year? (1980 winner for Johnny Logan, written by Shay Healy)

Because the regular Eurovision competition is cancelled this year, some of Ireland’s past winner’s will miss out on work they would have had surrounding the competition, including Linda Martin, who said she’s sorry not to be in Rotterdam at the moment:

“I would have been there actually, I’d a week’s work there. This time of year, you don’t get breathing space, it’s fantastic. But I would have been there anyway.”

Each of the performers talked about what they’re up to right now, in musical and in other careers, and the conversation turned to the problems of being an entertainer during lockdown. All are looking forward to enjoying their freedom again, and for the times we are living through, there was general agreement when Eimear Quinn said:

“People need music more than ever now.”

Listen back to more memories from the Irish Eurovision winners, including the strange stories of what happened to some of their costumes, Ray gets Dustin the Turkey’s take on his Eurovision experience and on Marty Whelan, and find out why Eimear Quinn says she’s the “Eurovision love story” in the full interview here.

You can watch both Marty Whelan’s documentary Marty’s Magical Eurovision Moments and Eurovision – Europe Shine a Light, with commentary by Marty, on the RTÉ Player.

Ruth Kennedy

© The Listener 2020

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