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Balls Remembers: The 3 Times Ireland Beat England In The Eurovision

Balls Remembers: The 3 Times Ireland Beat England In The Eurovision
Eoin Lyons
By Eoin Lyons
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It is Beating England Week here at Balls.ie. In that spirit, we've decided to revisit Ireland's trio of wins over England in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Ireland has has a rich and storied history when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest winning the competition on seven occasions, the most of any country to participate.

While all wins demand their own pride of place in Irish history, in the run up to Ireland's Grand Slam decider against England on Saturday, Balls.ie will be taking a look at the three times when the Republic stole the win from under the noses of the Old Enemy.


The first instance of Ireland beating England in the Eurovision happened in 1970 when an 18-year-old Dana wowed audiences with 'All Kinds Of Everything'. The competition boiled down to a two horse race between Ireland and the UK with Dana 'out-tweeing' her UK counterpart due to a combination of her youthful innocence and 'Sound Of Music' aesthetic. The Derry singer beat the UK's Mary Hopkin 'Knock Knock, Who's There?' by 6 points, 32 counties  to 26.

Perhaps the sweetest part of this victory was that the UK delegation (who were favourites in the run-up) had already organised a victory party for Hopkin.

Mary Hopkin - Knock, Knock Who's There 

Dana - All Kinds Of Everything

The next win over the UK would come in 1992 when the Linda Martin came up against Michael Ball. Martin sung the Johnny Logan penned "Why Me?": a straightforward meat and potatoes ballad that it ticked all the boxes. It was overly-heartfelt, very repetitive and an orchestral crescendo coupled with a bombastic octave jump towards the end nailed the win for Martin who beat the UK's Michael Ball by a resounding 16 points.

Ball was a favourite heading into the contest but his effort 'One Step Out Of Time' was very try hard (and kind of reminiscent of Dick Byrne in Father Ted). In any case the dynamic duo of Martin and Logan was enough to send Ball packing back to England with his tail ensconced firmly between his legs.

Linda Martin - Why Me?

Michael Ball - One Step Out Of Time

Ireland's final success over the United Kingdom came in 1993. Niamh Kavanagh tore the roof off the Millstreet venue with a barnstorming performance of the Jimmy Walsh penned 'In Your Eyes'. UK's entry was Sonia's  'Better The Devil You Know' and in all honesty she didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell against Kavanagh's imperial pipes. Ireland's entry beat the UK by 23 points and I don't think you would find a single Brit who could argue that Kavanagh wasn't well worth her victory. What a performance.

Niamh Kavanagh - In Your Eyes

Sonia - Better The Devil You Know

See Also: How The English Media Reacted To Ireland's Shock Euro 88 Victory

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