The public will tonight pick Ireland’s entry for this year’s Eurovision song contest from a shortlist performed by traditional music band Dervish.
A panel of judges, including former Eurovision winner Shay Healy, the managing director of Universal Music Ireland Dave Pennefather, broadcaster Larry Gogan and singer Eleanor Shanley, chose the final four songs from over 200 entries.
Each of the songs will be performed by the six-piece Sligo-based band Dervish on the Late Late Show – Eurosong 2007. The public will then decide which song will represent Ireland at the 52nd Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki in May 2007.
Bookmakers William Hill have the song ’Until We Meet Again’, which was written by Malachi Cush, Pam Sheyne, Martin Sutton and Don Mescall, as their 15-8 favourite for the Eurosong final.
The final four songs are: ’They Can’t Stop The Spring’ written by John Waters and Tommy Moran; ’Walk With Me’ written by Stigg Lindell; ’The Thought Of You’ written by Matti Kallio as well as ’Until We Meet Again’.
Entries were open to songwriters from outside Ireland. Almost 200 entries were received from both home and abroad, with entrants from 11 different countries from across Europe and around the world.
Finalist Stigg Lindell is a Swedish musician whose songs have made it into the final rounds of the Norwegian and Estonian heats of the Eurovision Contest. Another successful entrant Matti Kallio is a Finnish musician who has been performing in traditional Irish bands in Helsinki.
William Hill’s Irish spokesman Tony Kenny said: “In our opinion ’Until We Meet Again’ is the strongest of the four entries, but at the end of the day it’s the public who will decide what song Dervish will sing in this years Eurovision Song Contest.”
Another song ’The Thought Of You’ is in at 9-4 while odds of 7-2 have been offered on ’They Can’t Stop The Spring’ and ’Walk With Me’.