Ireland would take Eurovision seriously if it was "clever", says Fianna Fáil MEP
He said that Ireland should use the competition to promote not just the music but "the country itself".
A Fianna Fáil MEP has said that Ireland needs to put together an expert group to improve chances of winning Eurovision and take the song competition "more seriously".
Billy Kelleher said that he believes the country needs to "get our act together" to win the contest after Ireland's Lesley Roy failed to secure a place in last week's semi-final.
Ireland has only made it through to the final once since 2014 and it has now been 25 years since Eimear Quinn became the last Irish winner of the competition.
Kelleher told Newstalk Breakfast that if Ireland was "clever" it would use the show to promote not only Ireland's musical talent but "the country itself".
“Internationally, it has a huge audience… if Ireland was clever, it would use the Eurovision Song Contest not just to promote Ireland its ability in music and song… but also to promote the country itself," he said.
“We’ve used the Ryder Cup, the Irish Opens, various sporting, and cultural events… we have the Greening of Ireland on St Patrick’s week. I think the Eurovision Song Contest is an opportunity to also do that, and it comes around every year.
“You should be there to be competitive. And the great thing about winning is that you’d then have a chance to host it.”
He added that Ireland should "seize the opportunity" to be competitive and take home a win next year.
Kelleher said that he would like to see a group of experts put in place to analyse the type of music that would improve Ireland's chances of winning the contest.