IRELAND – From ABBA and Celine Dion to Russian grannies and a singing turkey, the Eurovision Song Contest has dazzled, entertained and confused us endlessly over the decades. Twenty-five years ago, it was also the stage that first gave us that most essential Irish cultural phenomenon: Riverdance.
In 1994, Ireland was preparing to host Eurovision for a second year running. After inviting Europe to the tiny Cork village of Millstreet for a rural affair in 1993, this time around RTE were bringing things back to Dublin.
Executive producer Moya Doherty was in charge of overseeing the broadcast. In an attempt to modernise the show, Doherty introduced the practice of countries delivering their votes on camera via satellite link. But her pièce de resistance was the interval act.