'Hugely embarrassing': Emails to RTÉ show pushback against calls for Eurovision boycott

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The Eurovision 2019 final takes place on Saturday.

Ireland News, Ireland Headlines

IRELAND’S EUROVISION ENTRY Sarah McTernan will compete in the second semi-final of the competition tonight amid heightened security on the ground in host city Tel Aviv.

Although RTÉ has consistently held the line that Eurovision is a non-political musical event, it didn’t prevent the sending of almost 130 emails and letters to Director General Dee Forbes, Irish Delegation Head producer Michael Kealy and RTÉ’s press office.

Between June and December last year, RTÉ representatives responded to emails and letters from those for and against a boycott. “It is hugely embarrassing to me as an Irish woman and as someone who works in the media, that several media outlets, including Channel 10 News in Israel felt compelled to write to RTÉ asking why my national broadcaster had yet to confirm its participation in the event,” they wrote.

Following the protest at RTÉ, the broadcaster received correspondence from one TV License holder who objected to Ireland’s participation in Eurovision 2019 due to the “subjugation and maltreatment of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli state”. RTÉ has consistently held the line that Eurovision is a non-political event and that no member of the European Broadcasting Union is boycotting this year’s competition.

Earlier this week, Galway City Council became the latest local authority to call on RTÉ to boycott Eurovision 2019.

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