Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
التضامن الإيرلندي الفلسطيني

Nobel Peace Laureate, Anti-Apartheid Movement founder & artistic trade unions join celebrities calling for Eurovision Israel boycott

Celebrities and public figures have been continuing to endorse the Irish Call to Boycott Eurovision 2019 in Israel, which has now been signed by over 3,500 people. You can sign up and share the call too by clicking here.

In addition to the supporters already announced, the past 24 hours has seen Irish Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and co-founder and former Chairperson of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement Gearoid ‘Garry’ Kilgallen pledge their support for the campaign. Also endorsing the call are the Musicians’ Union of Ireland, the trade union for musicians, singers and music professionals, and Irish Equity, the trade union for actors, dancers, directors, and stage and set builders/designers.

Some of those who have already signed on to support the call include former Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan; Irish broadcaster and former Eurovision commentator Mike Murphy; former Eurovision presenters Carrie Crowley and Doireann Ni Bhriain; artist and Riverdance set designer Robert Ballagh; Irish musical legends Christy Moore, Mary Black, Andy Irvine, Frances Black, Donal Lunny, Honor Heffernan, Cormac Breatnach, Dee Armstrong and Steve Wall; artists Jim Fitzpatrick and Felim Egan; comedians Barry Murphy and Kevin Gildea; composers Raymond Deane and Trevor Knight; media personalities Ellen Cranitch and Betty Purcell;  former Riverdance dancer Brendan Dorris; poet Catherine Ann Cullen; Israeli-Irish academic Ronit Lentin; and well known LGBTQ+ and feminist campaigners like former chairperson of the National LGBT Federation Ailbhe Smyth, Senator David Norris who was first openly gay person elected to Irish public office, co-founder of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) Kieran Rose, marriage equality campaigner and first Mr. Gay World Max Krzyzanowski, and Cllr. Cian O’Callaghan who was Ireland’s first openly gay mayor. Also supporting the campaign is actor Padraig Murray, President of Irish Equity and Seamus Doyle, President of the Musicians Union of Ireland.

Speaking about his reasons for supporting the call, Gearoid Kilgallen said: “There will be people who will say that cultural events like Eurovision should not be politicised. Of course, these were arguments we faced regarding South Africa when I was involved with the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement. Now, as then, I firmly believe that all legal means must be employed in fighting discrimination and occupation, including the boycotting of sporting and cultural events. Such boycotts were hugely effective in the South African situation, and it is clear that there are strong parallels to be drawn between the apartheid South African state and the apartheid Israeli state.”

The Irish campaign is made up of human rights activists, artists and other public figures who believe that Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision will be used to culturally whitewash and ‘pinkwash’ Israel’s atrocious record of seven decades of war crimes and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. It is has been initiated by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), PalFest Ireland and Trade Union Friends of Palestine (TUFP), in response to calls from Palestinian artists, journalists and civil society groups.