Words: Ellen Kenny
So close, yet so far. The island of Ireland has missed its chance to host Eurovision, most likely for a long time.
Eurovision has announced the seven potential British cities that will host the song contest next year. Ireland isn’t anywhere to be seen.
Belfast City Council submitted a bid to hold next year’s contest after it was announced that the United Kingdom would host Eurovision 2023. The ongoing war in winner Ukraine prevented the song contest taking place there.
But this morning, Eurovision announced that Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield were the seven shortlisted cities. Any Irish Eurovision fans will have to travel more than they hoped if they want to see watch the contest from its host city.
Belfast has previously hosted major events much as the MTV European Music Awards. The CEO of Visit Belfast was confident that the city could cope with the massive influx of participants and spectators.
However, while many are disappointed that Belfast has missed its chance, some are not surprised.
Tense relations between the UK and the European Union over Northern Ireland likely did not help Belfast’s case from a political point of view. And others argued that the city was simply biting off more than it could chew.
Ireland last won Eurovision in 1996, and the country hasn’t reached the finals since 2018. So the island might have missed its chance to host the contest for a long time.
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