Last week, journalists from the Spanish ÉFE news agency visited Millstreet to do an article on the Eurovision which was held here in 1993. Their work appears on several news papers today, below is an example:
When Noel C. Duggan dreamed of hosting the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest at the equestrian arena of his Irish hometown, Millstreet, many said he was “crazy”. But his drive and ambition helped put the tiny town on the map and, for one night, was the center of European music.
In an interview with Efe, the 89-year-old businessman remembers how the idea was born while watching the 1992 contest with his family and had a hunch that Ireland, and Linda Martin, were going to win Eurovision that night — and it came true… [read the full article on laprensalatina.com]
To celebrate to the very day (15th May) the Eurovision Song Contest 1993 at Green Glens, Millstreet we share 23 images from the Pictorial Archives of Millstreet Museum which will hopefully evoke many wonderful memories of the truly historic occasion. Thanks to Noel C. Duggan & Family, the Local Eurovision Committee and RTÉ the Eurovision Song Contest on 15th May 1993 in Millstreet was an outstanding success with Ireland’s Niamh Kavanagh winning and according the opportunity in 1994 bringing about the first performance of “Riverdance” in Dublin. Enjoy our trip down memory lane! Keep safe and well All. Tap on the images to enlarge. (S.R.) [read more …] “Celebrating Today the 27th Anniversary of 1993 Eurovision”
Last week we looked back to the distant past of 2019, when Tamara Todevska brought her country their first taste of the Eurovision top ten in Tel Aviv, Israel. This week we stay in Israel, but turn back to clock to 1993, when the country sent a group of performers to sing their song ‘Loud and High’ in the small Irish town of Millstreet. How did the Shiru Group come to be? Brace yourself for some Israeli drama!
Like most years, Israeli broadcaster IBA held a national selection, Kdam Eurovision, to select their representative for Eurovision 1993. Among those competing were future Israel entrant David D’Or and also the composer of the 1998 winner ‘Diva’, Svika Pick. The winners were the ‘Shiru Group’ accompanied by TV personality Sarah’le Sharon, with the song titled ‘Shiru’. ‘Shiru’ was composed by Shaike Paikov, who previously composed the 1989 Israeli entry. His involvement came after being contacted by Sarah, who begged him to compose a song for her to enter the national final. Originally hesitant due to Sarah not being a singer, Shaike eventually accepted upon the premise that he could select a group of singers to perform with her, becoming known as ‘Shiru Group’. In the national final performance, Sarah was mostly just a backing vocalist, while the group did the ‘heavy lifting’.
When the Israeli delegation arrived at the Green Glens Arena in Millstreet, controversy erupted. According to an interview given to the website ‘And the Conductor is…‘ by Shaike Paikov in 2012, Sarah decided to present herself as the lead vocalist during the rehearsals. She claimed the Shiru Group members were merely backing singers, and insisted the camera focus on her during the performance. This completely disregarded ideas already given to host broadcaster RTÉ by IBA in regards to the staging of the entry. Shaike intervened and explained to the director of the contest that the camera angles should focus on the group. Soon after this, Sarah called the director to again confirm herself as lead singer. Shaike couldn’t get the camera angles changed back for a fifth time and so the video of the performance focuses almost completely on Sarah, sitting at the piano.
According to Shaike this completely ruined any chance the song had. He contacted IBA stating that Sarah had ‘gone crazy’, and her out-of-tune vocals would lead them to last place. Shaike quit and intended to return to Israel, but he was convinced to stay in Ireland by the head of entertainment in IBA. The song didn’t end up coming last, but just one point separated them from eventual last place Belgium. This is still the worst result for Israel in a final.
Today, Wednesday 15th May 2019 marks the exact 26th Anniversary of the magnificent Eurovision Song Contest held on Sat. 15th May 1993 at 8pm in Millstreet’s superb Green Glens Arena where Noel C. Duggan and Family accorded a royal welcome to the world on this hugely historic and highly significant event. To mark the occasion we have delved into our Millstreet Museum Archives to share just a small selection of images recalling such a fascinating and forever memorable time here in Millstreet. Click on the pictures to enlarge. (S.R.)And we continue below sharing 13 more images of the truly magical occasion: [read more …] “Recalling Eurovision 1993 on its 26th Anniversary Today – 15th May 2019”
“… were apprehensive about spending so much time in a remote location. However, according to John McHugh who was head of the Irish delegetion- they had reckoned without the traditional hospitality of Kerry and West Cork, which worked its customary magic. Everything seemed to be going so smoothly that I was shocked to receive an urgent call from Kevin Linehan the show’s producer, just days before the final. It seemed that the opening act – and Irish star with global reputation – had decided to pull out of the show at that very late stage. I immediately contacted two composers, Ronal Johnston and Shea Fitzgerald, to see if they could write a musical piece at very short notice. I had worked with Ronan and Shea when they had written the signature theme for a seriew that I produced called Nighthawks. Through some technical mix-up, I has listened to that signature piece backwards, and I had liked what I heard – which meant that their theme was played backwards on the show for the next four years. I also contacted Davy Spillane – an uilleann piper whose playing I had long admired. Luckily, Davy Ronan and Shea were all available, and, within a day or so, we were in Shea’s small studio in Monkstown, County Dublin, recordingn the new track that would open the 1993 contest. Davy Spillane was soon on his way to Millstreet – where he would be the first performer to be seen on the Eurovision stage…”
Listen to that opening track in the below video (from 0:45 to 3:30)
Matthew Murphy’s Eurovision Wall in Minor Row has been one of Millstreet’s most photographed features. Painted by Patty “Muds” Murphy, it features the flags of each country that participated in Eurovision 1993, arranged in random order with Ireland as the first flag on the top left.
The original painted version lasted over nineteen years, and in 2012 Millstreet Tidy Town replaced each flag with a new colourful and attractive panel securing its future. Matty Murphy, was caught by GMTV painting the original Eurovision Wall, in the leadup to the Eurovision [news report]
Eurovision Song Contest 1993: The flags painted on this wall represent the European countries which participated in the Eurovision Song Contest held in the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet, o 15th May, 1993, and was the idea of Mr. Matt Murphy, owner of these premises. Ireland won the contest that year with Niamh Kavanagh, singing “In Your Eyes”, composed by Jimmy Walsh, with the orchestra conducted by Noel Kelehan. Reading from the top left to the right, the countries represented here were: IRELAND FINLAND AUSTRIA PORTUGAL SWEDEN GERMANY MALTA ICELAND ITALY BELGIUM SLOVENIA SWITZERLAND ISRAEL NORWAY EUROVISION LOGO GREECE DENMARK SPAIN CYPRUS NETHERLANDS BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA UNITED KINGDOM TURKEY LUXEMBOURG FRANCE CROATIA ERECTED BY MILLSTREET TIDY TOWN ASSOCIATION
(the new layout of the flags differs slightly from the original version!)
Tuesday, 15th May 2018 is the exact 25th Anniversary of the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest in Millstreet to the very day. To mark the historic occasion we share a selection of images (mostly from 1993) from Millstreet Museum Archives taken in Minor Row, at Green Glens and in the Museum. And on Cork Music Station on Tuesday from 9:30pm we are transmitting a very special edition of “Radio Treasures” where we feature a wide variety of memories mainly from local people whom we’ve recently recorded and we also include some of the more popular songs from past Eurovisions. We invite you to tune into our special Internet Radio Programme on www.corkmusicstation.com . Access to our Cork Music Station is easily received by scrolling down and by clicking on the third Local Website Listing to the right of our homepage on www.millstreet.ie . And if you wish to share a memory for another Eurovision Programme please let us know through the Seán Radley Facebook or email millstreetmuseum @eircom.net. Click on the pictures to enlarge. Happy Listening! (S.R.) [read more …] “Memories of Eurovision 1993 on “Radio Treasures” Tuesday 9:30 to 11:00pm”
Thanks to Mario Remon who sent us this photo from the Eurovision Village in Lisbon this morning :”The name of Millstreet in Lisbon (Portugal) today“. Eurovision fan Mario visited Millstreet last August, and met with Seán who gave him the local tour … but where did 25 years go? 
We invite you to tune into www.corkmusicstation.com this evening for our weekly “Radio Treasures” Show from 9:30 to 11:00. Our featured Guest Interview at 10pm is with Mario Remon Cobeta who is a Eurovision Enthusiast Supreme! Mario will be tuned in from Spain this evening. And of course we have our usual mixture of wonderful music and interesting musings. We have lots of updates including additional information relating to the famous Writer who once lived at Dooneen. Feel most welcome to contact the programme live either on the “Seán Radley” Facebook chatline or by texting 00353 86 825 0074 (from overseas) or 086 825 0074 (from Ireland). We now share a selection of images of Mario on the Sunday (30th July 2017) when he visited Millstreet. Happy Viewing and Happy Listening! (S.R.) [read more …] ““Radio Treasures” Tonight Features Eurovision Enthusiast from Spain – Mario”
The Barbara Dex Award is an annual unofficial award for the worst dressed act in the Eurovision Song Contest each year. The award is named after Barbara Dex who represented Belgium at Eurovision 1993 in Millstreet, and who infamously wore a rather ugly, semi-transparent, frumpy dress on the show that she made herself (“looking like a lampshade”).
The former Head of Entertainment for RTÉ, Kevin Linehan, who produced RTÉ’s largest outside broadcast, the 1993 Eurovision from Millstreet, has died. RTÉ ‘s Acting Managing Director Dermot Horan said: “Today is a sad day in RTÉ as we mourn the passing of one our most loved colleagues.”Mr Horan said: “Kevin was hugely talented. I worked with him when he was a producer, Head of Young People’s Programmes and Head of Entertainment. He loved working with talent and brought so many new faces to the screen. He worked with a smile on his face and got on with everyone.”
RTÉ producer Kevin Linehan and broadcaster Fionnuala Sweeney at the Millstreet rehearsal in 1993
“In the week of the Eurovision Song Contest I remember working with him, when he produced the Eurovision from Millstreet in 1993, which was an extraordinary feat.”It was the largest ever outside broadcast ever attempted by RTÉ, coming from a town with a population of just 1500. It was an amazing experience with Niamh Kavanagh winning on the very last vote with In Your Eyes.
“Kevin will be missed by all who knew or worked with him at RTÉ
Mr Horan added: “We’d like to extend our sympathies to his wife Mary and daughter Sophie and all his friends and colleagues here in RTÉ. May he rest in peace.” [RTÉ]
Linehan Kevin (Sandymount, Dublin 4) 11th May 2017. (Peacefully) at Highfield Health Care, Swords Road. Beloved husband and best friend of Mary (O’Sullivan) and devoted father of Sophie. Sadly missed by his wife and daughter, son-in-law Sebastian, mother Agnes, brothers Brian and Martin, sister Geri, sister-in-law Anne, brothers-in-law Peter, Garry, Donal, Paddy, Ciaran and Owen, grandsons, Rufus and Arlo, extended family and friends. Much appreciation extended to the staff of Highfield Health Care who minded Kevin so well.
Funeral Service on Monday next (15th May 2017 ) at 4 pm in the Victorian Chapel Mount Jerome Crematorium, Harold’s Cross D6W. Family flowers only please, donations, if desired, to the Alzheimer’s Society. 
Let’s have look back at this day twenty four years ago, May 15th 1993, and we’ll never forget the XXXVIII Edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which took part in the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet. Watch the videos below with the voting (with Terry Wogan of the BBC), and the full show (Norwegian commentary), or look at some of our other memories from the 1993 Eurovision.
The 1993 Eurovision Song Contest took place in Millstreet, Co. Cork on 15 May. The above RTÉ News report by Colm Connolly and Tom McSweeney shows the preparations under way in Millstreet, Co. Cork in the week leading up to the event. [read more …] “Bringing Eurovision to Millstreet 1993”
A report from the GMTV breakfast programme about the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest of 1993.
======== Below are some stills from the video:
Noel C Duggan
They called it a one horse town, they even said it was a national disgrace, but on Saturday, all eyes in Europe will be on the small town of Millstreet in County Cork, population 1,500.
Because, against all the odds, this quiet backwater in the South of Ireland will host the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest. Everyone sneers at the Eurovision, but not Millstreet. People here welcomed it with open arms, every shop and every home along the main street is decorated. And this will be the venue, the town’s international show-jumping arena which has been transformed for the occasion, and they’re taking no chances. The show-ring has been specially fumigated. The man with the plan to take the Eurovision to its smallest ever venue is Millstreet native and millionaire businessman Noel C. Duggan.
“I wrote my letter when Linda Martin … when the voting was going on. There were two more countries to vote and I decided she couldn’t be beaten. So, I pulled out my bit of paper and wrote my letter to the Irish authorities, and I didn’t hear for two months. Now, some wise craic suggested, at least quoted me as saying, which is not true, that the reason they didn’t reply for two months was that it probably took them that length of time to stop laughing.”
With 25 countries, including for the first time, Bosnia and Croatia, it’s the biggest ever contest, and it goes live to a worldwide audience of more than 500 million! Britain are putting their hopes on Sonia:
“Yeah, I’m getting more excited by the day, you know it’s, I just can’t wait really. The atmosphere is just amazing, it’s fabulous”
So, come Sunday it will all be over, and if Millstreet knew it’s place, it would go back to being a quiet little County Cork town, but somehow, you get the feeling that’s just not in Noel C Duggan’s grand plan
To mark this historic 23rd anniversary of the most memorable Eurovision Song Contest in Millstreet on Sat. 15th May 1993 we’ve delved into our Museum Archives to recall the many hugely colourful windows throughout the town put in place by two wonderful Artists under the name “Visual Image”. We are also so very grateful to Ken D. Brennan for presenting three most important Folders of the minutes and notes referring to the preparation for the spectacular event in Millstreet which began at 8pm on the night introduced by Fionnuala Sweeney and of course won by Niamh Kavanagh. Do enjoy this brief visit down memory lane! (S.R.) And we continue with some more superbly colourful windows…. [read more …] “Eurovision in Millstreet Exactly 23 Years Ago Today!”
RIP Sir Terry Wogan who passed away today aged 77 following a short illness. “We’ll stay here all night dear” was his famous quote as he commentated for the BBC on the Eurovision in Millstreet, as the organisers tried to get in contact with the last decisive jury from Malta, as the UK and Ireland battled it out for the win. Watch the last moments of the voting below:
We now share a selection of pictures from Ansgar’s arrival by train at Millstreet Railway Station followed by his brief but very comprehensive tour of the Eurovision Venue, Millstreet Town and the Eurovision Wall at Minor Row, Drishane Estate and Millstreet Museum. Ansgar who is involved in Media Management in Germany especially praised the fact that some 23 years since the amazing event we have still preserved many reminders of the historic occasion. We thank Ansgar for honouring us with his visit. We’ve just sent the following Facebook message to him: [read more …] “Eurovision Enthusiast Ansgar Hugely Impressed by Millstreet”
This is a one hour documentary on the 1993 Eurovision Song Contest which was held in Millstreet, a town in the south of Ireland. It covers how it came about, the work involved to make it happen, the local effort involved, visiting dignatories, and the climax of the song contest itself.
It was the first independently produced documentary to reach no. 1 in the RTE weekly ratings. There are lots of familiar faces throughout the programme, which is here subtitled in Norwegian!
Some stills from the video
Linda Martin, Oscar, and Noel C. Duggan at a press shoot in the Green Glens (5:29). Two seconds later, Oscar gave Linda a puck in the face !!!
Michael has featured in many famous films through his phenomenal knowledge of all kinds of vintage transport. Many historic items from his Museum have been used in highly regarded films. His dedication to the preservation of vintage transport especially the railway world is totally inspiring. In the 1980s he visited Millstreet when as we so clearly recall a traction engine was welcomed into Millstreet by Millstreet Pipe Band in a fundraising project for the preservation of the world of Steam. It travelled slowly from Fenit to Mallow (as far as we recall). Michael is so very helpful in sharing his vast knowledge of vintage such as the picture below where he explains that the original fireman’s hat is made of [read more …] “Eurovision 1993 Flags Presented to Millstreet Museum by Michael Kennedy”
RTÉ reporter Tom MacSweeney was back-stage to capture the reaction and spoke to Liam Miller, Executive Producer of Eurovision 93 (who had lots of nice words for the Millstreet community), the previous year’s winner Linda Martin, Pat Kenny, and the winner, Niamh Kavanagh:
If you are a fan of Eurovision then this will be very sad news. Anita Notaro was the tour de force responsible for directing the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 from Millstreet in Ireland.
The 1993 contest was brought from the small village of Millstreet in County Cork and was a directing challenge for Anita Notaro but she confounded all the critics and made it one of the most memorable Eurovision’s in the contest’s history.
Anita worked as a highly successful Director with RTE (Irish National Broadcaster) for 18 years where she directed many programmes from The National Political Election coverage to The Eurovision Song Contest to Ireland’s most watched [read more …] “Anita Notaro”
The Eurovision Song Contest 1993 was broadcast live from the Green Glens Arena, Millstreet, Co. Cork on May 15 to an international audience of over 350 million people.
Work on the project commenced in September 1992 with a feasibility report highlighting the staging difficulties of the Millstreet arena.
Addressing the main problem of lack of height in the venue led to two key features of the final design, namely a three foot excavation of the area under the stage to accommodate underfloor lighting and a 60′ wide tilted ceiling piece to allow cameras to [read more …] “The Eurovision 1993 Stage Design”
With the news breaking last week that AceSigns Cork are to become the title sponsor of this year’s 100 year centenary Cork 20 International Rally, the Club under the leadership of Kevin O’Riordan (Clerk of the Course) are now busying themselves with the organising and running of the event.
Kevin stated now that the Financial side of the Rally is underpinned it leaves the team and I left to concentrate on the rally itself. This year the Rally will have a real Carnival atmosphere surrounding the town of Millstreet. Having an event such as the Cork 20 running for a hundred year’s is something the members of Munster Car Club are very proud about and rightly so. Indeed it is a great honour for me as C.O.C on this very special year. I will be outlining details of the event over the coming months but at this early juncture I would like to point out that we will have centralised service in the renowned Green Glens Arena which proved to be classed as one of the best service area’s on the 2013 Irish tarmac Rally Championship calendar. This means that service crews can set up in the Green Glens arena on [read more …] “2014 Cork “20” News”
The addition of these two Murals plus the updating of the famous “Eurovision Flags Wall” in Minor Row is such an uplifting development in the ongoing marvellous steps being taken to further enhance the appearance of Sráid a’Mhuilinn. Well, well done to all the dedicated people who help to [read more …] “Magnificent New Mural at Mill Race”