Niamh Kavanagh

Ireland’s former Eurovision winner says boycotting “isn’t always the answer”ahead of upcoming 2019 contest in Israel.

By: Shiryn Ghermezian/The Algemeiner

A past Eurovision winner who hails from Ireland recently denounced calls to boycott the singing competition next year that is set to be hosted by Israel, The Irish Sun reported.

A number of Irish politicians, former Eurovision winners and presenters have called for boycotting next year’s contest, and have urged stations not to broadcast the event, while accusing Israel of committing human rights violations against the Palestinians.

Niamh ­Kavanagh — who won Eurovision for Ireland back in 1993 and made it to the finals in 2010 — is against boycotts, explaining, “You can’t get so many countries into one space and not have some controversy in it. It is problematic, I understand that. But my feeling is that music is beyond borders.”

“Every country has the right to win and hold the contest,” the mother-of-two added. “I know people are struggling with this and it’s not easy, but it’s not about countries beating each other, it’s about a song going to represent your country, so it should be about music. I think that boycotting an event isn’t always the answer.”

Kavanagh continued: “Every year it comes on and people look back to what was successful, so it has given me national treasure status. I’m a 50-year-old woman still relevant in what I do and Eurovision is certainly part of that.”

The annual event is due to take place in Tel Aviv in May after last year’s win by Israeli singer Netta Barzilai with the song “Toy.”