Ireland made its debut in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year in Sofia with the song Réalta na mara performed by Aimee Banks. This year 32 young singers are battling for the right to represent Ireland in the 2016 contest which will be held in Malta.
Each week eight acts take to the stage with only one advancing to the final. Two acts have qualified so far:
- Walter McCabe with the song Las Do Sholas
- Zena Donnelly with the song Brice ar Bhrice
The winner of Junior Eurovision Éire will be decided by a professional jury consisting of previous Irish representatives in the Eurovision Song Contest. The list includes:
- Jedward (2011, 2012)
- Niamh Kavanagh (1993, 2010)
- Linda Martin (1984, 1992)
- Dustin The Turkey (2008)
- Sadie Jones (1972)
Above: Linda Martin is pictured with the presenter of Junior Eurovision Éire, Eoghan McDermott (Photograph: ADARE Productions Ltd).
As with last year, Ireland's Junior Eurovision entry will be performed in Irish. Jury member Sadie Jones is the one and only performer to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest with a song in the Irish language. Her song Ceol an Ghrá finished in 15th place when the contest was held in Edinburgh in 1972.
Last year Aimee Banks finished in 12th place in Junior Eurovision 2015.