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ESC Reporter | January 20, 2018

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Nicky Byrne talks about the "Eurovision Mafia"

Nicky Byrne talks about the “Eurovision Mafia”
George Dalakouras

Nicky Byrne has recently given an interview to Ray D’Arcy on the RTE Radio 1 Show, where he mentioned that he feels no regrets for representing Ireland with the song “Sunlight” in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Ireland did not qualify for the Grand Final. 


Reunite Westlife 

“I really felt we could get Ireland with this song back to where, I felt, it belonged. I love Eurovision and I wont’ not love it.” 

A caller suggested Nicky reunite with Westlife and join the contest next year, but Byrne felt unsure whether Westlife as band could give Ireland a better place:

“Obviously, it’d bring more audience from a Westlife point of view. But I don’t know… Listen, I think you could send U2 and I think it doesn’t really matter anymore.”


The Eurovision Mafia 

“I think there’s no formula to winning. I think there’s a big Eurovision ‘mafia’ that are planning next year’s Eurovision now, and certainly come January they’re looking at what countries are going to do what. And somehow – and I don’t know how you do it because I was talking to Linda Martin about this the other day – you need to get into that top five or top ten with the Eurovision hardcore fans from the start.

We were always popular; we were always, ‘Oh, the guy from Westlife’s doing it. Oh, it’s a decent song. Oh, they’ll do well’. But we were never like, ‘Oh, have you seen the Russian entry? Have you seen the French entry?’ And I could never work that out.”


Nicky Byrne believes his failure to qualify for the final will scare off the Irish stars from entering. 

“The big thing in the back of my mind was, ‘If I do well here – as in well for Ireland – I think you could look at anybody taking part.

“I would have been saying to any band or any artist, 'Get yourself in there. Get your name in the hat, because it can only – if you do well – be good for you and the country.” 

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