Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ireland Bemoans Fourth Eurosong Victory

DUBLIN -- Ireland bemoaned the price of fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest for the fourth time in five years and with it the dubious honor of having to stage the middle-of-the-road music contest yet again.


The nation's media mixed national pride with cash concerns in reporting how Eimear Quinn's The Voice, a haunting melody out of the current vogue of electric Celtic soft rock, was the runaway winner in Norway Saturday.


The victory will mean more fame for the student, 23, but a cash outlay of about 3 million punts ($4.5 million) for the national semi-state RTE broadcasting network, which will have to provide the venue and coverage next year.


The Irish Times voiced fears in the RTE boardroom on the very day of the contest when it predicted an Irish win under the headline: "Ominous signs of an Irish song contest win."


The country that provides each Eurovision winner automatically stages the following year's show.


Ireland, which will host the European Union presidency this year and has been the venue for several international conferences, is typically not shy of such honors. But commentators appear to draw the line at becoming host and sponsor of a contest that inspires songs of the most ephemeral lightweight nature.


RTE officials say hosting the contest is good, if expensive, publicity for a nation of 3.5 million and for a tourist industry that is growing faster than any other sector in the economy. The contest is beamed live to all the 20-odd countries on the Eurovision network.


The Sunday Independent complained that money for other television programs, documentaries and features would now have to be channeled into the annual Eurosong fest. "Money, resources, talent will all have to be diverted to the effort of demonstrating, yet again, that if we spend millions of pounds we can put on a TV show with an expensive set and dire, derivative, passionless music," it said.