Skip to main content

18 years ago today - Ireland makes it three in a row

30 April 2012 at 05:40 CEST

The record books for the contest were rewritten on the night of the 30th of April 1994, when for the first, and to date only time, a country managed to make it three consecutive victories, when Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan won with the song Rock 'n' Roll Kids, following in the footsteps of Linda Martin and Niamh Kavanagh who had won for Ireland in 1992 and 1993 respectively.

Watch the winning song

The pair became the first male duo at the time to win the contest, but even before they took to the stage to reprise their winning song, a number of other records had been achieved in the 1994 contest.

1994 Facts & Figures

  • Host broadcaster RTE became the first to stage two consecutive contests in succession, following the 1993 production in Millstreet, County Cork, they staged the 1994 contest in the Point Theatre in Dublin.
  • For the first time through satellite technology the jury spokespersons from each country were seen in vision.
  • No less than seven countries made their debut, Poland, Russia, Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovakia.
  • The interval act Riverdance went onto become a smash hit stage show.
  • The winning score of 226 points was a new record high.
  • It was the first winning song not to be accompanied by the orchestra.
  • Regular Irish conductor Noel Kelehan still managed to be the most successful conductor on the evening, as he took the baton for the runner up from Poland.
  • Poland's second place was the highest ever placing by a country at the time in their debut year. (Even Switzerland in 1956 won the contest with their second entry in the contest).

About the winners

Paul Harrington, born in 1960 and Charlie McGettigan born in 1950 were responsible for Ireland's third consecutive win with the song Rock 'n' Roll Kids. 

Both men have musical backgrounds with Harrington previously having released material in the early 90s and also working with Michael Flatley, who was  responsible for Riverdance.

After winning Europe's favourite TV show at the Point Theatre in Dublin, both men went on to have varying degrees of success with both Paul and Charlie recording more music and appearing on various TV shows.

Charlie also appeared in the Congratulations 50th anniversary show of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen in 2005.