Ireland Eurovision 2018 Costs Ryan O Shaughnessy

They boast a record number of Eurovision wins, yet consistently struggle to make the grand final. But in May, Ryan O’Shaughnessy broke a streak of non-qualifications when he took Ireland to the Saturday night show for the first time since 2013.

And after a Freedom of Information request from The Irish Sun, broadcaster RTÉ revealed just how much it spent on its only Eurovision finalist from the last five attempts. The total bill came to €304,088.

It can be broken down as follows:

RTÉ Eurovision 2018 costs

  • Product costs – design, set pieces, lighting props and pyro, etc. – €27,190
  • Accommodation – €42,355
  • Flights (economy class) — €8,483
  • Airport parking and taxis — €663
  • “Representation” bill — €1,594
  • Food and subsistence — €13,632
  • EBU Participation Fee — €83,861
  • Undisclosed, including artist fees — €126,309

The costs covered the expenses of sending a 18-person delegation to Portugal, including singer Ryan O’Shaughnessy and his two dancers Alan McGrath and Kevin O’Dwyer. Ryan’s fellow “Together” songwriters Mark Caplice and Laura Elizabeth Hughes were also included in the number.

The remaining delegation members were backing vocalists Claire-Ann Varley, Janet Grogan and Remy Naidoo, the Head of Delegation Michael Kealy, tour manager, stylist, choreographer, sound engineer, vocal coach, commentator Marty Whelan, broadcast co-ordinator, photographer and Head of Press Rayna Connery.

However, RTÉ told the newspaper that the costs do not account for “charges for RTE labour and support costs, as these will only be finalise once the annual accounts have been completed”.

Undisclosed amount

While the TV station was happy to disclose breakdowns relating to money spent on accommodation and flights, they declined to publish all the costs. A large chunk of €126,309 remains unaccounted for. This includes fees paid to performers.

In response to The Sun’s FoI request, the network said it could not release information on “additional costs associated with the artists (performers), who are independent contractors” as this was “commercially sensitive”.

“If further costs were released, it could result in material loss to the artists (performers) and could discourage them, and other artists (performers), from seeking to work with RTE.”

Value for money

While a bill in excess of €300,00 may seem eye-watering to you or I, it’s actually a reduction on previous years. In 2017, Brendan Murray and his doomed balloon set RTÉ back €331,000. At €337,000, ex-Westlife member Nicky Byrne’s ill-fated attempt at solo stardom was even more expensive in 2016.

However, RTÉ is happy with the return on its six-figure investment. “The Eurovision Song Contest provided seven and a half hours of live entertainment content – broken down the cost per hour was €44,197 – which by TV production standards represents very good value for money.”

This year, an average of 416,000 people tuned in over the course of the three shows. This amounted to a 34% audience share and is up significantly on the 2017 average of 273,000 viewers.

Do you think Ireland’s budget was well spent? Let us know in the comments box below. 

FOLLOW ALL OUR IRELAND EUROVISION 2017 NEWS.

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Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Rich legends. I’m currently in Ireland, and considering the prices of stuff here, that sum is reasonable lmao

Eastman
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Eastman

Artists deserve to get paid, just like every other working member of their delegation.

Andy Lamp
Guest

Because artists need to make a living too. They have bills to pay and their own and other mouths to feed. Representing one’s country on the international stage is always an honor, but Eurovision does not always guarantee the kind of positive exposure that equates to more gigs and a prosperous career. See Nicky Byrne. Not to mention, not all artists who may bring repute to their country can afford to donate their time and possible salary to a lofty international peace-keeping mission such as Eurovision. RTE is attracting viewers largely on the back of the artist representing. It would… Read more »

Curve
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Curve

EBU participation fee is really that expensive?

Graph
Guest
Graph

I am glad that Ryan and the other songwriters had an opportunity to present their work in the final, but I wish that Ireland’s non-qualifying streak had been broken with a different song. This song wasn’t really a breakout from their range of efforts during 2014-17. Now, RTE can blame those years on bad luck and lack incentive to truly reevaluate their approach to the contest.

Cesar's salad
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Cesar's salad

That is very expensive for shopping mall and elevator music

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

What were the viewer figures for the final? Averaging it total over the three shows probably brings the numbers down a lot.

Purple Mask
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Purple Mask

That’s a successful year for Ireland. Slightly lucky, but good for them.

RICK
Guest

no luck but an amazing singer, amazing song and amazing staging:)

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Luck of the Irish, then.

RICK
Guest

Nope, no luck at all.

Juan Cena
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Juan Cena

Moldova’s set for DoReDoS’ performance cost 5,000 Euros. Did a piano, a lamppost, and snow all really cost 27,000+ Euros?

I mean, Ireland was successful at making the final (and doing so quite memorably), but considering the level of minimalism when compared to what Moldova constructed for 5k (which was pretty intricate), the staging costs are kind of mind-blowing.

Jo.
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Jo.

Perhaps Moldova saved money to accommodate the ultimate lavish queen.

Paul
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Paul

Yeah but Moldova’s set was mostly from Ikea

PP77
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PP77

But no one wrote , how much money Moldova paid to Fokas to prepare idea for staging for Moldova. I don t believe that , he worked this for no money.And maybe Moldova spen more money then Ireland for preparation of staging. 5000 cost only set for Moldova and how much money for Fokas idea.

RICK
Guest

Love that everyone was writing this off, having Ireland as their 41/43 in their top, and they eventually get 6th in the semi and 16th place in the grand final lol People got Ireland so wrong this year. Its going to be hard to follow Ryan but im hoping Either Una healy, Janet Grogan or The Heathers for esc 19

jedweird
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jedweird

having ireland low in their top doesn’t mean a prediciton…. it’s called an opinion haha and making the final doesn’t mean people will automatically now enjoy listening to the track

West
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West

I had Ireland as my top 5 before the ESC and as my no 1 in the final, so – not everyone was writing it off.

RICK
Guest

lol cut the bs you know everyone in the ‘eurofandom’ hated ireland and was sure it would be last. Eurofans no NOTHING about a good song and this was proof of it. I hope they dont Like Ireland’s song next year cause that will mean ireland will do great again!

Curve
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Curve

Ireland was saved because of the staging. The people behind it knew the contest viewer demographics and what they would like to see in the contest hence they had a gay friendly staging. Not that I am complaining about it, just that I see Ireland having a good PR for making this happen this year. Also, the song is still decent as usual.