Ireland: Political party of Sinn Féin urges for an ESC 2019 boycott
It hasn’t been more than a month ago, when we heard that a group of artists and other celebrities well known to the Irish community started a campaign and petition asking the country’s national broadcaster, RTE, to boycott next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. Perhaps a major part of the public took in mind these reactions as marginal ones, but the news coming from the seven times Eurovision Ireland are this time more serious.
The third political party of Ireland , the social Democratic and Hypercatholic party of Sinn Féin, announced that it will start a major campaign in favor of boycotting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.
About The Sinn Féin Party
Sinn Féin is the 3rd political party in number of seats in the Irish Parliament after achieving a 14% in the last general national elections. Its influence is stronger in Northern Ireland where its numbers are higher establishing it as the 2nd political party in the specific region. It’s one of the traditional parties in the country and its history is connected to the struggle for Irish Independence from the United Kingdom and IRA’s battle in Northern Ireland , which remains under British sovereignty. Apart from its parliamentary presence, it has elected several mayors and town councilors , congress members and representatives in the European parliament (4 from Ireland and 1 from N. Ireland)
In the light of these initiatives , which are far more official from just a movement of a number of individuals, the involved authorities of EBU, RTE, KAN should take in mind such developments.
Pearse Doherty, a Sinn Féin Member of Parliament and rapporteur of several financial bills in the Irish parliament stated to thejournal.ie:
The delegates of Sinn Féin are very clear – there is a role for the arts, music and indeed sport, in sending a very strong message internationally. As it happens, Israel is hosting the Eurovision and just like the Olympic Games in Germany or the Rugby World Cup during the apartheid era, there is a time to stand on the right side of history here.This is an opportune moment to shine the spotlight on the slaughter of the Palestinian people. While the government are refusing to expel the Israeli ambassador, there is an opportunity for others to take a stand so I think this campaign will gain momentum.
“We have a history and we understand more than most what is happening in Palestine. We know in our own history where innocent protesters have been gunned down on the streets of Derry and elsewhere, so there is an affinity there. I think that this has the potential to grow,” said Doherty, who added he did not foresee any resistance to the motion which is being put to a vote this weekend.
“I think it would be a positive development and it would be something I welcome. I call on other parties to make similar calls,”
Ireland hasn’t made clear yet its intentions for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest and voices opposing to an Irish participation next year keep rising in the country.
However , there are many opposite voices to argue an Irish withdrawal from Eurovision, defining it as an exaggerating reaction. One of those has been, the Irish Deputy Prime Minister, Tanaiste Simon Coveney, who stated that such a development wouldn’t offer anything to the Palestine’s interests, trying this way to exclude any connection between the Eurovision Song Contest and the international political scene developments.
In the latest Eurovision Song Contest Ireland was represented by Ryan O’Shaughnessy and his song Together which made to the Grand Final after a long time for the country and ended up in the 16th place.