Ireland will be represented in at least two European finals today. In one instance, a television audience of almost 200m viewers is anticipated; in the other, a tiny fraction of that would be regarded as a commercial vindication.
In both instances, our representatives follow pathfinding predecessors who, on several occasions, brought the European bacon home.
Paul O’Connell may not have a lot in common with Dana, on first glance at least, though Johnny Logan and Brian O’Driscoll exude a primaeval confidence and grace that must have contributed to their successes on the Eurovision stages and in the continent’s far less fragrant rugby stadiums.
This evening in Lisbon, Ryan O’Shaughnessy has an opportunity to become Ireland’s eighth Eurovision winner extending our unsurpassed record — one which we have not added to since 1996.
How inspiring it would be if, earlier this afternoon Leinster joined Europe’s once-stellar club Toulouse by winning rugby’s European title for the fourth time. Let the greening — and blueing — of Europe begin.