Ever before Ireland made its Eurovision Song Contest debut in 1965, the competition was producing hit singles in the Irish chart. In this section we take a look at the complete history of Eurovision related hits in Ireland. U.K. visitors might like to visit this page, which has similar information on the U.K. charts.

While Ireland only made its Eurovision debut in 1965, television viewers on the east coast of the country were able to see the contest for several years before that thanks to the B.B.C.. The official Irish pop charts began in 1962, a full decade after their British equivalents, which meant that singles like “Nel Blu Del Pinto De Blu (Volare)” by Domenico Modugno the Italian entry in 1958, and “Are You Sure” by the Allisons, the U.K.’s entry in 1961 never reached the chart, despite both selling well in Ireland. 

It was another U.K. entry that became the first Eurovision song to become a hit in the Irish chart. Ronnie Carroll’s “Say Wonderful Things To Me” (left) may have only finished 4th at Eurovision in 1963, but it reached #6 in the Irish chart, a position it also attained in the U.K. Carroll was already a popular singer in both countries following his Top 10 hit “Roses Are Red” in 1962.

The 1960s Hit List

 1963 U.K. "Say Wonderful Things To Me"-Ronnie Carroll #6
 1964 Italy "No Ho L’Eta"-Gigliola Cinquetti #4
 1965 Ireland "Walking The Streets In The Rain"-Butch Moore #1 
 1966 Ireland "Come Back To Stay"-Dickie Rock #1
 1966 Irish NF "The Wind Through The Rafters"-The Ludlows #8
 1967 U.K. "Puppet On A String"-Sandie Shaw #1
 1967 Ireland "If I Can Choose"-Sean Dunphy #2 
 1967 Luxembourg "Love Is Blue"-Paul Mauriat #4 *
 1967 Luxembourg "Love Is Blue"-Jeff Beck #20 *
 1967 Luxembourg "Love Is Blue"-The Dells #18 *
 1967 Irish NF "Back To The Hills/Canavaun"-Patricia Cahill #13
 1967 Irish NF "The World Outside"-Deirdre O'Callaghan #15
 1968 Ireland "Chance In A Lifetime"- Pat McGeegan #1 
 1968 Ireland "Congratulations"-Cliff Richard #1
 1969 Ireland "Wages Of Love-Muriel Day #1
 1969 U.K. "Boom Bang A Bang"-Lulu #1

  * Cover version of Eurovision song.

The first Eurovision winner to become a chart hit in Ireland came in 1964, when Italy’s “No Ho L’Eta” sung by Gigliola Cinquetti became a surprise #4 hit, after RTÉ transmitted the contest live from Copenhagen. Just as now, it was most unusual for a foreign language song to hit the Irish chart, and “No Ho L’Eta” became the first non English hit in the Irish Top 10. 

In 1965 the first Irish Eurovision entry “Walking The Streets In The Rain” sung by Butch Moore, became one of the biggest selling singles of the year, and went to #1 in the Irish chart. It should be noted that in the 1960s, singles by Irish singers also mentioned the showbands with which they performed, so The Capitol Showband also received a credit, despite not playing on the single. Despite massive interest in Ireland in the contest, neither the winning song from Luxembourg, nor the U.K. entry by Kathy Kirby became hits in Ireland. 

In 1966 it was the hugely popular Dickie Rock of the Miami Showband who won the right to represent Ireland in Luxembourg with the song “Come Back To Stay” (left). Once again the Irish entry topped the local chart and became one of the year’s biggest hits, but neither the winner from Austria nor the U.K. entry, both of which were released in Ireland managed to become hits in Ireland. One single that did hit the Top 10 was “The Wind Through The Rafters” by the popular Irish ballad group The Ludlows . Despite only finishing 2nd in the Irish National Song Contest, this song reached #8 in Ireland.  

In 1967 interest in the Eurovision Song Contest reached a new high in Ireland. Both the Irish entry “If I Could Choose” sung by Sean Dunphy and the U.K.’s “Puppet On A String” sung by Sandie Shaw which was co-written by Derryman Phil Coulter entered the Irish chart in the week before the competition staged in Vienna. In the contest the U.K. won for the first time, and Ireland was second. The two songs were also involved in a very tight chart battle in Ireland with “Puppet On A String” spending several weeks at #1, and “If I Could Choose” once again having to settle for the #2 slot. Also in 1967 Patricia Cahill sang two songs in the Irish Final and both were coupled and released as a single; "Back To The Hills"/"Canavaun" reached #13 in the charts. "Back To The Hills" had finished second in the final and "Canavaun" finished 4th. Another song "The World Outside" was sung by Deidre O Callaghan in the Irish Final and was released as a single by The We 4, featuring Deirdre on lead vocals reached #15 in the Irish charts.

With the 1968 contest being staged in London, the build up to the contest saw both the U.K. and Irish entries enter the chart. Cliff Richard went to #1 with the U.K. entry “Congratulations” (left), a position also reached by “Chance Of A Lifetime” by Pat McGeegan, the Irish entry. This is the first time that two Eurovision entries from the same contest topped the Irish chart. The winning entry from Spain; “La La La” made no impact in Ireland or in the U.K. 

While two songs were fighting it out for number one, at the same time another Eurovision chart battle was going on further down the chart. French bandleader Paul Mauriat had recorded the Luxembourg entry from 1967 and turned “Love Is Blue” into a worldwide hit. British guitarist Jeff Beck had also recorded the song. Both versions reached the Irish chart, with Mauriat’s reaching #4 and Beck having to settle for #20. “Love Is Blue” would return to the Irish chart in 1969 as part of a medley with “I Can Sing A Rainbow” sung by The Dells. The single reached #18 in Ireland.

1969 was the year of four Eurovision winners and for a third year in a row the U.K. entry went to number one in Ireland with Lulu’s “Boom Bang A Bang” being the only one of the four winners to become a hit in Ireland. Muriel Day also managed to top the Irish charts with “Wages Of Love”, the first up-tempo Irish Eurovision entry, meaning that for the second year in a row, Eurovision produced two Irish chart toppers. 


The 1970s saw Ireland's first victory and the first time that RTE staged the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin. This was the decade that produced more Eurovision hits singles than any other, both in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, as songs like "Waterloo" and "Save All Your Kisses For Me" went onto being worldwide million selling hits and giving the contest its most successful period in terms of songs becoming international charts hits.

In 1970 Ireland finally gained its first Eurovision win. “All Kinds Of Everything” sung by Dana (left) was already a big hit in Ireland before going on to be a clear winner in Amsterdam. It topped the Irish charts for nine weeks, going on to be the biggest selling single of the year. The single also reached #1 in the U.K. and became a major European hit, launching Dana’s international music career. The song that finished second at Eurovision also reached the #2 slot in both the Irish and U.K. charts. Mary Hopkin’s “Knock Knock Who’s There” was one of several hits which the Welsh singer had in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Interestingly another Eurovision related single also reached the Irish chart in 1970. Maxi, Dick & Twink were one of the most popular girl groups on the Irish music scene in the late 1960’s and early 1970s. In 1970 they entered the National Song Contest and their song “Things You Hear About Me” finished second and when released on single reached #17 in Ireland. Maxi would go on to represent Ireland twice at Eurovision, while Twink would become one of Ireland’s top television personalities of the 1970s and 1980s and continues to remain in the public spotlight today.

With Dublin hosting the 1971 contest, interest in Eurovision reached an unprecedented level. The Irish National Song Contest threw up a major surprise when relative unknown Angela Farrell and “One Day Love” beat songs performed by better known singers like Red Hurley, Sonny Knowles and Danny Doyle. Unfortunately “One Day Love” proved a disappointment on two fronts, becoming the first Irish entry to miss out on a Top 10 finish at Eurovision, and surprisingly only reaching #4 in the Irish charts, considering the local interest in the contest in that year.

However  1971 became the first year when three Eurovision entries became hits in Ireland with Monaco’s winning entry “Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue” sung by Severine reaching #3 and “Jack In The Box” sung by Clodagh Rodgers from Northern Ireland reaching #5 having finished in U.K.'s favourite runner-up spot at Eurovision. 

As noted above, the 1970s were the heydays of Eurovision in terms of producing hits and 1972 was no exception.  Sandie Jones sang the only Eurovision song in Irish Gaelic in Edinburgh, and while the song flopped badly in the contest, finishing 15th, it became the first Irish #1 hit single in Gaelic. The U.K. entry “Beg, Steal Or Borrow” reached #3 for the New Seekers and Luxembourg’s entry which won the contest, had an unusual chart history. “Apres Toi”  the original French version hit #3, then the record company “flipped” the single and the English version “Come What May”  hit #2. 

Ironically the song that stopped Vicky Leandros (left) from getting to #1 in Ireland was another Eurovision song. The popular Irish showband The Dixies recorded an English language cover version of the 1973 Dutch Eurovision entry  “Als Het Om De Liefde Gaat”  which finished 4th in Luxembourg. The instantly catchy single which was titled “What Do I Do” in English featured lead vocals by Joe O’Toole and and 1972 Irish Eurovision singer, Sandie Jones topped the Irish chart, becoming the first Eurovision cover version to become an Irish #1. Sandie Jones therefore became the first singer to top the Irish charts with two different Eurovision entries, a feat that would later be repeated by Johnny Logan. 

In total 1973 saw three Eurovision songs become hits in the Irish chart. “Do I Dream” sung by Maxi reached #7, while the U.K. entry “Power To All Our Friends” gave Cliff Richard a #2 hit. The Eurovision winner “Tu Te Reconnaîtras” was rather slow to take off in the Irish charts and only became a hit in its English version, under the title “Wonderful Dream”. It eventually reached a peak position of #3.

The 1970s Hit List

 1970 Ireland "All Kinds Of Everything"-Dana #1
 1970 U.K. "Knock Knock Who's There"-Mary Hopkin #2
 1970 Irish NF "Things You Hear About Me"-Maxi Dick & Twink #17
 1971 Monaco "Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue"-Severine #3
 1971 Ireland "One Day Love"-Angela Farrell #4
 1971 U.K. "Jack In The Box"-Clodagh Rodgers #5
 1972 Ireland "Ceol An Ghrá"-Sandie Jones #1
 1972 Luxembourg "Apés Tol/Come What May"-Vicky Leandros #2 
 1972 U.K. "Beg Steal Or Borrow"-New Seekers #3
 1972 Netherlands "What Do I Do"-The Dixies #1 * 
 1973 Ireland "Do I Dream"-Maxi #7
 1973 U.K. "Power To All Our Friends"-Cliff Richard #2   
 1973 Luxembourg "Wonderful Dream"-Anne-Marie David #3
 1974 Ireland "Cross Your Heart"-Tina #1
 1974 Sweden "Waterloo"-ABBA #1
 1974 Netherlands "Mouth & McNeal-"I See A Star" #1
 1974 Italy "Go (Before You Break My Heart)"-Gigliola Coquette #3
 1974 U.K. "Long Live Love"-Olivia Newton-John #9
 1975 Ireland "That's What Friends Are For"- The Swarbriggs #2
 1975 Netherlands "Ding A Dong"-Teach-In #8
 1975 U.K. "Let Me Be The One"-The Shadows #10
 1975 Luxembourg "Toi"/"You"-Geraldine #18
 1976 U.K. "Save All Your Kisses For Me"-Brotherhood Of Man #1
 1976 Ireland. Red Hurley-"When" #4
 1976 Irish NF "Danny"-Cathal Dunne" #8
 1977 Ireland "It's Nice To Be In Love Again"-Swarbriggs Plus Two #1
 1977 U.K. "Rock Bottom"-Lynsey DePaul & Mike Moran #6
 1977 Irish NF "There Was A Dream"-Colm Wilkinson #2
 1977 Irish NF "Goodbye, Goodbye"-Chips #2
 1977 Irish NF "Da-dum-da-dum-da I Love You So"-Denis Allen #7
 1978 Ireland "Born To Sing"-Colm Wilkinson #8
 1978 Irish NF "You Gotta Get Up"-Reform #3
 1979 Israel "Hallelujah"-Milk And Honey #1 
 1979 Ireland "Happy Man"-Cathal Dunne #3 
 1979 U.K. "Mary Ann"-Black Lace #19

  * Cover version of Eurovision song.

If 1973 was a good year for Irish chart hits, then 1974 was to become the best ever for Eurovision related songs. Tina’s “Cross Your Heat”, the Irish entry in Brighton, was #1 before the contest, and after the show it was joined in the Top 10 by an amazing four other Eurovision songs. The U.K. entry “Long Live Love” sung by Olivia Newton-John who was already a popular singer in Ireland reached #9. The top three songs in Brighton all became huge hits in Ireland. The Swedish winner “Waterloo” by Abba (left) raced to #1 and ended up being knock off the top spot by the Dutch entry “I See A Star”  sung by Mouth & McNeal, which had finished 3rd in Brighton. The Italian entry, “Si” sung by 1964 winner Gigliola Cinquetti, which was the pre-contest favourite, and finished 2nd at Eurovision became a #6 hit in Ireland when translated to English under the title “Go (Before You Break My Heart)". With five Top 10 hits, Eurovision had reached its peak as far as Irish music buyers were concerned.

1975 saw the Tommy and Jimmy Swarbrigg represent Ireland in Stockholm with their own song “That’s What Friends Are For” (left). This is the first time that the Irish Eurovision singers performed a song they had written themselves and The Swarbriggs were well known on the Irish music scene, especially through a string of hits with The Times showband. “That’s What For” reached #2 in Ireland and was the biggest of four hits which were performed in the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest. “Ding A Dong” performed by the Teach-In group won the competition for The Netherlands and reached #8 in the Irish chart, the U.K. entry “Let Me Be The One” by The Shadows reached #10 while the Luxembourg entry which was co-written by Phil Coulter and performed at Eurovision by Irish singer Geraldine Branagan reached #18 as a double a-side single of “Toi” and the English version “You”. 

1976 was unusual because the chart battle began before the contest. Red Hurley was one of Ireland’s most popular singers in the 1970s and his Eurovision song “When” reached #4 in Ireland. However the U.K. entry beat it in the race for #1. Brotherhood Of Man’s “Save All Your Kisses For Me” biggest one of Eurovision’s biggest ever hit singles, topping the U.K. and Irish charts and going onto to be a multi-million seller all over the world. Another hit came from the Irish National Song Contest; "Danny" sung by Cathal Dunne reached #8 after finishing 4th. Cathal would of course get to Eurovision three years later. 

The 1977 Eurovision Song Contest was delayed for a month because of a BBC technicians strike, but the delay helped the Swarbriggs, this time “Plus Two” with the addition of Alma Carroll and Nicola Kerr reach #1 in Ireland with “It’s Nice To Be In Love Again”. Lynsey De Paul had already had several hits and returned to the Irish Top 10 reaching #7 with "Rock Bottom", her Eurovision duet with Mike Moran. That song finished 2nd at Eurovision, beaten by the French entry "L'Oiseau Et L'Enfant". That song became the first Eurovision winner since 1969 to fail to become a hit in Ireland.

While the Eurovision winner wasn't a hit in Ireland, an amazing three songs that lost out in the Irish National Song Contest made the Irish charts. Colm Wlkinson reached #2 with "There Was A Dream" which finished 3rd. "Goodbye Goodbye" by Chips, featuring Linda Martin on vocals which finished 4th reached #2 in the Irish chart, while Limerick man Dennis Allen had a #7.hit with "Da-Dum-Da-Dum-Da I Love Out So", which finished 5th.  

A similar fate would befall the 1978 Israeli Eurovision winner "A-Ba-Ni-Bi", which despite lots of airplay, failed to become a hit in Ireland. Indeed the only song from the contest to make the chart was Colm Wilkinson's "Born To Sing", and that reached a disappointing #8 making it the smallest Irish Eurovision hit to that point. The biggest Eurovision related hit in 1978 was a song that didn't even get to Paris. Limerick group Reform (left) got to #3 in Ireland with "You Gotta Get Up", written by the band. Despite the fact that the song only finished 5th in the National Song Contest, many Irish Eurovision fans feel that had the song gone to Eurovision, Ireland would have secured its second Eurovision win in 1978.   

In contrast to the Israeli winner a year earlier, the 1979 Eurovision winning song "Hallelujah" by Milk & Honey was a massive hit in Ireland, shooting to #1, following its victory in Jerusalem. The Irish entry "Happy Man" sung by Cathal Dunne, reached #3, to give the Cork man his second Eurovision related hit. While the U.K. entry in Jerusalem, "Mary Ann" by Black Lace reached #19. The band would have a much bigger hit five years later when "Agadoo" would become one of 1984's big summer hits.


While the contest remained popular in Ireland during the 1980s, the contest lost its way a little in producing major hits, as the decade progressed. In an increasingly eclectic decade musically, many Eurovision songs were generally less mainstream and consequently unable to attract the airplay necessary to become major hits.

1980 saw Ireland win the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time when Johnny Logan took Shay Healy's "What's Another Year" (left) to victory in The Hague. It was Johnny's first chart hit in Ireland, after several of his earlier singles had received a lot radio play, without making the chart.

1981 saw the contest return to Dublin and just like ten years earlier interest in the competition was very high. "Horoscopes" the Irish entry sung by girl group Sheeba became a big hit, reaching #3 in the charts. The song that stopped it from getting to #1, also beat it at the Eurovision Song Contest. Bucks Fizz and "Making Your Mind Up", the U.K. entry became one of the biggest hits of the year. 

The 1981 contest produced two other Irish hits. The German entry "Johnny Blue" sung by Lena Valaitas, finished second in the contest and after being translated to English it reached #15 in Ireland. The fourth Irish chart was the specially commissioned interval act "Timedance" composed by Bill Whelan and performed by the popular traditional music group Planxty reached #3, to become one of the band's biggest ever hits and became one of the biggest selling 12" singles of the year. This was the first time that a song written for the Eurovision interval act was a hit in Ireland, although the two songs which novelty act The Wombles performed in the 1974 contest (a medley of "The Wombling Song" and "Remember You're A Womble") had already been hits before being used as the interval act in Brighton.

Following the victory of Bucks Fizzz, the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest was staged in the Yorkshire town of Harrogate and it, produced three Irish chart hits, the biggest of which was the German winning entry. When released in English, Nicole's "A Little Peace" raced to #1 becoming of of the year's biggest selling singles. The Irish entry "Here Today Gone Tomorrow" by The Duskeys reached #12, while the U.K. entry "One Step Further" by Bardo reached #5. One other Eurovision related hit came in 1982, from a rather surprising source. The song "Fantasy Island" had missed out in the Dutch Eurovision selection, but when it was recorded by British group Tight Fit, the song reached #3 in Ireland and became a hit all over Europe.


The 1980s Hit List

 1980 Ireland "What's Another Year"-Johnny Logan #1
  1981 U.K. "Making Your Mind Up"-Bucks Fizz #1
 1981 Ireland "Horoscopes"-Sheeba #3
 1981 Germany "Johnny Blue"-Lena Valitis #15
 1981 Interval Act "Timedance"-Planxty #3
 1982 Germany "A Little Peace"-Nicole #1
 1982 U.K. "One Step Further"-Bardo #5
 1982 Ireland "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow"-Duskeys #12
1982 Dutch NF "Fantasy Island"-Tight Fit #3 *
 1983 Luxembourg "Si La Vie Est Cadeau"-Corinne Hermes #12
 1983 U.K. "I'm Never Giving Up"-Sweet Dreams #25
 1984 Ireland "Terminal 3"-Linda Martin #7
 1984 Sweden "Diigi-loo Diggi-ley"-Herreys #13
 1984 U.K. "Love Games"-Belle & The Devotions #18
 1985 Norway "Let It Swing"-Bobbysocks #8
 1985 Ireland "Wait Until The Weekend Comes"-Maria Christian #15
 1986 Ireland "You Can Count On Me"-Luv Bug #2
 1987 Ireland "Hold Me Now"-Johnny Logan #1
 1988 Ireland "Take Him Home"-Jump The Gun" #3
 1988 U.K. "Go"-Scott Fitzgerald #21
 1988 Interval Act "Don't Go"-Hothouse Flowers #2
 1990 Ireland "The Real Me"-Kiev Connolly #17  

* Cover version of Eurovision related song.

1983 is a black spot in Irish Eurovision fans memories. Financial difficulties meant that RTÉ was not able to send an entry to Munich. Consequently interest in the contest, which was still shown live in Ireland was very low. Nevertheless, the winning entry from Luxembourg "Si La Vie Est Cadeau" by Corinne Hermes reached #12 in the Irish charts, while the U.K. entry "I'm Never Giving Up" by Sweet Dreams, also dented the chart, but for only one week, reaching #25 in Ireland.

Ireland was back in Eurovision in 1984 and Belfast born Linda Martin who had failed to make it to Eurovision in several attempts over the previous decade finally got to represent Ireland with Johnny Logan written song, "Terminal 3". It came very close to winning in Luxembourg and reached #7 in Ireland. The song that beat it, Sweden Herreys with "Diggi-loo Diggi-ley" (left) reached #13, while the U.K. entry "Love Games" by Belle & The Devotions reached #18.

1985 saw Maria Christian represent Ireland with "Wait Until The Weekend Comes". The song was a modest hit in Ireland, only reaching #15 for the almost unknown Maria, who never had another hit in Ireland. The winning song in Gothenburg was the Norwegian entry sung by Bobbysocks. When translated to English as "Let It Swing itreached #8 in the Irish chart.

In 1986 Luv Bug went to Bergen to perform the Irish entry "You Can Count On Me" (left), a song which became a big hit in Ireland, reaching #2 in the chart. It was the only hit to come out of that year's contest, with the Belgian winner "J'Aime La Vie" only getting a limited release in both the U.K. and Ireland.

Johnny Logan was back in 1987 and "Hold Me Now" spent over a month at number one in Ireland and gave the country its third Eurovision victory. It was one of the biggest selling singles in Ireland in 1987, however it was also the only hit single in Ireland from that contest.

In 1988 Eurovision came back to Dublin and the Irish entry "Take Him Home" by Jump The Gun, became a big local hit reaching #3 in Ireland. Scott Fitzergald and "Go" became the first U.K. entry for five years to become an Irish hit albeit a small one, only spending one week in the chart at #21. The song that stole victory from it at Eurovision "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi" sung by Celine Dion for Switzerland failed to chart in Ireland as it did in most of the rest of Europe, which could have something to do with the fact that the song was never recorded in English. Despite that wasted opportunity, Dion would go on to score many hits in the Irish charts in the 1990s.

The song that was used by RTÉ as the interval act in 1988 was The Hothouse Flowers and "Don't Go (left), filmed as a European travelogue. The song had already been a minor hit in Ireland, but after its appearance at Eurovision the song came back into the Irish chart reaching #2, and also launched the band's chart career in Europe.  

The 1989 contest in Lausanne, Switzerland made little impact with Irish music buyers. "The Real Me" by Kiev Connolly which represented Ireland spent only two weeks in the chart peaking at #17. It was the only song from that contest to reach the Irish chart and indeed the winning song from Yugoslavia was never released commercially in Ireland.

In a rather strange twist, one of the songs with which Celine Dion opened the show was "Where Does My Heart Beat Now"  which would become her first Irish hit reaching #13 a full two years after being performed at Eurovision, and launched her successful chart career.


The 1990s was the decade which saw Ireland dominate the Eurovision Song Contest with four victories. It was the decade that saw several songs performed at Eurovision becoming huge hits in Ireland, but by the end of the decade it appeared that Ireland's love affair with Eurovision was coming to an end.

Liam Reilly had scored several hits as as member of Bagatelle during the 1980s, but his first only solo hit came in 1991 when "Somewhere In Europe" reached #6. The song was 2nd at Eurovision. The winning song from Italy was never released in Ireland.

Once again, the  Swedish winner in 1991 was also not given a full commercial release (although import copies did make it to Ireland). The only hit from that contest was the Irish entry "Could It Be That I'm in Love" which reached #7.

In 1992 Ireland scored its fourth Eurovision win with Linda Martin and "Why Me?". Following its victory in Malmo, the song topped the Irish chart. Having achieved her lifetime ambition of winning the contest "Why Me" gave Linda her final Irish hit single, her first coming in 1975 as a member of Chips.

In 1993, RTÉ staged the contest in Millstreet. Ireland's entry "In Your Eyes" sung by Niamh Kavanagh won a dramatic victory and the song went on to be a huge hit in Ireland, reaching number one and becoming the biggest selling single of the year. It also reached the U.K. Top 40. The song it beat at Eurovision, "Better The Devil You Know" sung by Sonia representing the U.K. reached #26, the last and smallest of Sonia's Irish chart hits.

1994 saw a chart race between two Eurovision related singles. Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan with "Rock'N'Roll Kids" became a chart hit before the contest, staged in Dublin and looked poised to claim the top spot after its victory. However they had to settle for #2, when "Riverdance", the Eurovision interval act by Bill Whelan shot straight to #1. "Riverdance" spent an amazing 18 weeks at number one in Ireland, the longest ever run at the top of the Irish chart. It became the biggest selling single of all time in Ireland, an honour it retained until 1997, when Elton John's re-recording of "Candle In The Wind" beat it. Despite the interest of staging the contest in Dublin, none of the other entries reached the Irish chart.

The 1990s Hit List

 1990 Ireland "Somewhere In Europe"-Liam Reilly #6
 1991 Ireland "Could It Be That I'm In Love"-Kim Jackson #7 
 1992 Ireland "Why Me?"-Linda Martin #1
 1993 Ireland "In Your Eyes"-Niamh Kavanagh #1  
 1993 U.K. "Better The Devil You Know"-Sonia #26
 1994 Ireland "Rock'n'Roll Kids"- Harrington & McGettigan #2
 1994 Interval Act "Riverdance"-Bill Whelan #1
 1995 Ireland "Dreamin'"-Eddie Friel #5
 1995 Norway "Nocturne"-Secret Garden #7
 1995 U.K. "Love City Groove"-Love City Groove #28
 1995 U.K. NF "I Need You"-Deuce #14
 1996 Ireland "The Voice"-Eimear Quinn #3
 1996 U.K. "Ooh Ah...Just A Little Bit"-Gina G #6
 1997 Ireland "Mysterious Woman"-Marc Roberts #2
 1997 U.K. "Love Shine A Light"-Katrina & The Waves #6
 1998 Israel "Diva"-Dana International #10 
 1998 Ireland "Is Always Over Now?"-Dawn #24

In 1995 Ireland staged its third successive Eurovision song contest and the Irish entry "Dreamin'" by Eddie Friel reached #5 in the chart despite a controversy about the originality of the song. Norway's entry won the contest and Secret Garden's "Nocturne" was released on single in Ireland (something which didn't happen in Norway or the U.K.) and reached #7. The U.K. entry "Love City Groove" only reached #28 in Ireland, however the song that it beat in the U.K. selection "I Need You" by Deuce reached #14.

In 1996 Ireland scored the most recent of its seven Eurovision victories, when Eimear Quinn brought victory for "The Voice" written by Brendan Graham, who had also written "Rock'N'Roll Kids". Surprisingly "The Voice" never topped the Irish chart, peaking at #3. The song which was favourite for victory in Olso was the U.K. entry "Oooh Ahh...Just A Little Bit" sung by Gina G which reached #6 in Ireland after topping the U.K. chart.

In 1997, Eurovision returned to Dublin's Point Theatre for the third time. Once again the U.K. entry was favourite, but this time that was translated into victory with Katrina & The Waves. "Love Shine A Light" reached #5 in Ireland. The runner-up at Eurovision, but beating in the Irish chart was "Mysterious Woman", which reached #2, becoming the only Irish hit single for Marc Roberts.

Birmingham staged the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest and the Irish entry was "Is Always Over Now?" sung by Dundalk hairdresser Dawn Martin. The single spent only one week on the Irish chart at #24. The Israeli entry "Diva" sung by Dana International (left) became a hit in Ireland, reaching #10.

By 1999 Ireland's interest in the contest was clearly on the wane. For the first time, an Irish Eurovision entry failed to reach the chart.The Mullans "When You Need Me" missed the Top 30. The Swedish winner also failed to chart in Ireland and for the first time in almost forty years, not one Eurovision related song made the Irish Top 30. To make matters worse, the contest received poor reviews and the Irish televote failed, with the reserve jury vote having to be used.


After the heyday of the 1990s it looked like Ireland's interest in the Eurovision Song Contest was in irreversible decline, however RTÉ recovered the situation, thanks to the "You're A Star" talent search. However despite high ratings and renewed interest It would take something very different from previous winners to see a Eurovision entry from abroad hit the Irish chart. 

In 2000, "Millennium Of Love" sung Eamonn Toal finished 6th at Eurovision. Despite its relative success in Stockholm, the song failed to hit the Irish Top 30. The winning Danish entry "Fly On The Wings Of Love" also missed the Irish chart when the Olsen Brothers version was released here. However three years later a cover version of the song would become a huge hit in Ireland, reaching #1 for Spanish dance act XTM & DJ Chucky (left).

In 2001 interest in the Irish Eurovision song was so low that Gary O'Shaughnessy's "Without Your Love" was never commercially released, with RTÉ only commissioning a limited pressing to promote the entry. The Estonian Eurovision winner was not released in Ireland. Following the disastrous 2001 result, Ireland was forced to sit out the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest and again interest in the show dipped. Only the U.K. entry was released in Ireland, but it failed to chart.

In 2003 RTÉ inspired by the proven success of shows like "Popstars" and "Pop Idol" used a national television talent search to select the Irish Eurovision singer for Riga. Donegal man Mickey Harte won the show and with it the ticket to Eurovision. His entry "We've Got The World" entered the Irish charts at #1, going on to become the biggest selling single of the year. Another major Irish hit came when Simon Casey's "A Better Plan" also reached #1, despite losing out in the "You're A Star" final. However, the  increased interest in the contest in Ireland did not spill over to the winner. Sertab Erener's "Every Way That I Can" failed to make the Irish chart, while the Russian entry performed by t.A.T.u. finished 3rd in Riga but only reached the Top 10 as an un-credited extra track on the duo's second hit single "Not Gonna Get Us".

The 2000s Hit List

 2000 Denmark "Fly On The Wings Of Love"-XTM #1 *
 2003 Ireland "We've Got The World"-Mickey Harte #1
2003 Irish NF "A Better Plan"-Simon Casey #1
 2004 Ireland "If My World Stopped Turning"-Chris Doran #1
2004 Irish NF "Losing You"-James Kilbane #15
 2004 Sweden (1974) "Waterloo"-Abba (re-release) #33
 2005 Ireland "Love?"-Donna & Joe #2
 2005 U.K. "Touch My Fire "-Javine #32
 2006 Finland "Hard Rock Hallelujah"-Lordi #4
 2006 Ireland "Every Song Is A Cry For Love"-Brian Kennedy #4
 2007 Ukraine "Dancing Lasha Tumbai"-Verka Serduchka #31  

 2008 Ireland "Irelande Douze Points"-Dustin The Turkey #5  

 2009 Norway "Fairytale" - Alexander Rybax #2
 2009 Ireland "Et Cetera" - Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy #6
 2009 Iceland "Is It True?" - Johanna #28

* Cover version of Eurovision song.


In 2004 another "You're A Star" winner Chris Doran performed "If My World Stopped Turning" in Istanbul, and once again the Irish Eurovision entry topped the chart, thanks mainly to the "You're A Star" promotion. The "You're A Star" runner-up James Kilbane and "Losing You" reached #15. While the Ukraine's Eurovision winner just missed out on hitting the Irish chart, a former Eurovision winner made a re-appearance, Abba's "Waterloo" received a 30th anniversary re-release and reached #33. A year later in 2005, RTÉ used "You're A Star" for the third and last time. "Love?" sung by Donna & Joe reached #2 in Ireland despite failing to get Ireland into the Eurovision final in Kyiv. The Greek Eurovision winner was not released in Ireland. The U.K. entry missed out on the Top 30; Javine's "Touch My Fire" reached #32.

Without the huge publicity of the "You're A Star" show but with the added advantage of Brian Kennedy's history of hits, the 2006 Irish Eurovision entry "Every Song Is A Cry For Love" reached #4 in the Irish Top 40, after it finished tenth in Athens. Finland's 2006 Eurovision Song Contest winner "Hard Rock Hallelujah" by Lordi became the biggest non local Eurovision hit in the Irish chart for over a decade, reaching #4. Despite being a Top 10 hit at home in the U.K. and being the third favourite song with Irish televoters, Daz Sampson's "Teenage Life" only received a very limited release in Ireland, and failed to make the chart.

In 2007 new technology led to a couple of Eurovision firsts. Firstly, this was the first year that none of the entries in the contest was released on a physical single in Ireland. The Irish entry "They Can't Stop The Spring" by Dervish was released as a free download for one week on RTE's website. Over ten thousand people downloaded the track, but because chart rules do not not allow free of charge downloads, the track failed to make the Irish Top 40. By contrast, all the other forty one songs in the contest were eligible for the chart, as they were available for paid download, however only two of the songs made the Irish chart, which has now been expanded to a Top 50. The bigger hit  was Ukraine's novelty song "Dancing, Lasha Tumbai" by Verka Serduchka, the song which finished as runner-up to Serbia in Helsinki and received eight points from Irish televoters. Download sales helped the song to reach #31 and spent two weeks on the chart. The song also enjoyed a brief chart run in the U.K., again based on downloads only, however as in Ireland, the Serbian winner failed to make any impression on the chart. The other song to make the most minor of dents in the Irish Top 50 with "Flying The Flag (For You)", the U.K. entry, which spent one week at number 48, despite being the second U.K. entry in a row not to be released as a physical single. As only the Top 40 is made public in Ireland, it cannot be considered a hit.   

In 2008, Ireland sent its most controversial entry to the Eurovision Song Contest and Dustin the Turkey, who had been the most successful ever Irish entrant in terms of previous chart success. Despite failing to make the Eurovision final in Belgrade, "Irelande Douze Pointe", reached #5 in Ireland. Despite winning the contest and visiting Dublin as part of his winner's tour, performing on "The Late Late Show", Russian Eurovision winner Dima Bilan and "Believe" was never commercially released in Ireland.

In 2009, the Irish entry in Moscow was "Et Cetera" performed by Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy. Once again, Ireland failed to qualify for the final, but the song reached #6 in the Irish chart. 2009 also saw the Eurovision winner come closer to reaching #1 in the Irish charts, than at any time since 1993. Despite only being released on download, Norway's Alexander Rybak and "Fairytale" reached #2 in Ireland, but rapidly disappeared from the chart. A similar fate befell the Icelandic entry, "Is It True?" performed by Yohanna, the runner-up in Moscow, which made a fleeting appearance at #28 in the Irish chart after gaining Ireland's 12 points in the voting.


The the first time since 1974, five Eurovision related songs hit the Irish charts in 2010. Germany's second contest winner, came close to emulating the first, but in one of the closest chart battles of the year, just missed out on hitting #1 in Ireland. Nevertheless Lena's "Satellite", which was only released on download, reached #2 in a three week stay in the Irish charts. 

The Irish entry "It's For You" sung by Niamh Kavanagh, failed to repeat the success of her 1993  entry, reaching #8 and finishing 23rd in Oslo, while three other songs performing in the contest, also charted in Ireland. Tom Dice brought the first Belgian Eurovision entry onto the Irish chart with "Me And My Guitar" reaching #20. The French entry "Allez, Ola, Olé" reached #39 while the interval act "Glow"  by Norwegian act Madcom, reached #12. 

Having won the Irish ticket to Dusseldorf, pop duo Jedward (John And Edward Grimes) entered the Irish singles chart at #2, based on download sales only. A physical release of the song will follow. 


The 2010s Hit List

 2010 Germany "Satellite-Lena #2
 2010 Ireland "It's For You"-Niamh Kavanagh #8
 2010 Interval act "Glow"-Madcon #12
 2010 Belgium "Me And My Guitar"-Tom Dice #20
 2010 France "Allez, Ola, Olé"-Jesse Matador #39
 2011 Ireland "Lipstick" - Jedward #2



I'd like to credit some websites that I have found very useful when creating this page.

  1. The Irish Charts website

  2. The Irish showbands website

  3. Eurovision record covers

  4. Eurovision National Finals