Edward Tucker recalls Millstreet, Co. Cork, hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 25 years ago
May 15th, 1993, was a red-letter day for Millstreet and its people. At 8pm that evening the 38th Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast from the Green Glens Complex in the town. An estimated audience of 300,000 viewers watched the Contest.
The 1993 Eurovision was the first and only one staged at a venue outside of a major European city.
It is incredible that a small rural town like Millstreet could have so successfully staged such a prestigious event. It was only made possible by the co-operation and assistance of the people from the Millstreet region and from a number of others around the country.
When Linda Martin won the 1992 Eurovision, Mr. Noel C. Duggan penned a letter to RTE offering them his Green Glens complex free of charge for the hosting of the 1993 Contest.
RTE, after much deliberation, took a calculated risk and accepted his offer. However, before doing so, the station’s executives viewed a number of other potential venues around Ireland, other than Dublin.
During July, 1992, RTE’s top people visited Millstreet to view the Green Glens arena and liked what they saw.
In October a contract was signed between Mr. Joe Barry Director General of RTE and Mr. Duggan.
Once it was confirmed that the Eurovision was coming to Millstreet, a local steering committee was set up. Dr. Michael Feeley, Chairman and Mr. Ken Brennan, Secretary, headed up that committee.
A further eight sub-committees were formed to assist the main committee. Each one was charged with responsibility for one of the following tasks – publicity, security, accommodation, finance, entertainment and liaising with local authorities as well as working with RTE in ensuring that the Eurovision would be a resounding success. Each sub-committee had one representative on the steering committee.