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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
1IMAGE/Bryan Brophy Jessica on TG4’s Junior Eurovision Éire.

Cheer on Ireland's Jessica McKean at Junior Eurovision 2023 this Sunday

Jessica McKean will be representing Ireland at this year’s event, which is being shown live on TG4.

ARE YOU A Eurovision fanatic?

Are you hungry for more Eurovision, as much as you can feast your eyes on? This Sunday, November 26, Junior Eurovision takes place in Nice, France. The full spectacle is live on TG4 at 3pm Irish time, meaning you can fill your boots with belting tunes from the stars of future Eurovisions.

It promises to be a breathtaking celebration of music as the young representatives of 16 countries battle it out to be crowned Junior Eurovision winner. Expect amazing performances from the young singers, who must be aged between 9 and 14 on the day of the contest to enter. 

If you need any more motivation to tune in, Ireland is being represented by Jessica McKean from Lifford, Co Donegal. Supporting one of our own in the competition makes it that bit more exciting!

jnr-eurovision Gareth Chaney Jessica McKean, Ireland's representative on Sunday. Gareth Chaney

Jessica qualified after winning the public vote in an enthralling final on TG4’s Junior Eurovision Éire. The ten-year-old has been singing since the age of three, and is the youngest Irish entrant ever.

I have been singing my whole life,” says Jessica. “In my home, we all sing, or have music playing all the time. I started singing as soon as I could talk. I loved to perform for family and friends, so my mum took me to singing class at only two and a half years old. I entered into my first Feis at 3, and I won in the six and under category. I have worked hard all my life on my singing. It’s doing what I love, and bringing pleasure to people at the same time.”

Jessica will sing her song ‘Aisling’, written by Niall Mooney and his team, live on the big stage on Sunday. The song is performed completely through Irish.

“I have loved recording my single “Aisling” and making my music video. I was dressed like a princess in a beautiful castle in Wexford. It was amazing,” Jessica said.

According to Jessica, the Junior Eurovision Éire experience was “amazing”. The competition, which is held in front of a live audience and a panel of judges, was broadcast on TG4 earlier in the year.

“I was praying to get onto this show as it’s just a dream of mine to represent my country,” she said. “To hear my name called out as the overall winner… it’s a feeling I can’t explain! I’m thrilled beyond words, and very grateful to be in this position!”

jnr-eurovision Jessica grew up surrounded by music.

Jessica credits her family for the encouragement they gave her all her life as a big reason for why she will be representing Ireland this weekend. Her mum used to bring her to singing lessons and help her practice each evening.

Jessica’s passion for music and the enjoyment that she gets from it is very obvious and will be clear to all viewers during her performance. 

When I sing it brings such happiness to people. I’ve made people cry when I sing… which I hope is for the right reasons! Music is all I know and love, so I get such pleasure from performing, whilst bringing pleasure to everybody else. Music is also a great way to relax. I enjoy making up songs whilst playing the piano. It’s just magical,” she said.

Jessica’s favourite artists include Whitney Houston and Adele as she loves “the power behind their voices.” Taylor Swift and Harry Styles are two of her other favourites, but Jessica enjoys singing a wide range of music, including opera and singing in Latin.

Looking ahead to Sunday, Jessica is preparing to hit the stage and give it her all. You can vote for Jessica from November 24 here or use social media to send messages of support with the hashtag #JESC2023. 

“I’m really looking forward to meeting all the other countries, and to perform on that huge stage in front of the world! How can this be happening? I’m only 10 years old!” said Jess. “I have a wonderful outfit that’s been made from recycled plastics for the show too, so it’s fabulous to dress up. The whole experience is going to be beyond my wildest dreams.”   

Make sure to tune into the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this Sunday. Whether you’ll be watching to enjoy the spectacle or cheer our Jessica on, you’re guaranteed to have a ball. The show will also be available on the TG4 player.

Watch Jessica perform her song ‘Aisling’ in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest on Sunday November 26 at 3pm on TG4.

Junior Eurovision Éire is produced by Adare Productions for TG4 and is presented by Louise Cantillon and Darragh Ó Caoimh, along with judges Niamh Ní Chróinín and Aindriú de Paor and guest judges including Niamh Kavanagh, Brooke Scullion, Brian Kennedy, Ryan O’ Shaughnessy, Conor O’Donohoe and Mickey Joe Harte.