With just over a week to go until Ireland begins its search for their inaugural Junior Eurovision Song Contest entry, judge Niamh Kavanagh has shared some of her thoughts about the competition.
"I'm Beside myself with excitement. I always wondered why we weren't in Junior Eurovision!" says the singer, who won the adult Eurovision in 1993. "When TG4 first approached me about the show, I thought: 'Isn't it an amazing thing that yoyung people can be encouraged to be creative and understand the scale of what you do',".
"For me it's encourging children to be creative, to express themselves in a very lovely way - and that's the spirit of Eurovision for me," added the singer, who is part of a three-person jury in Ireland's national selection process. "This is the sort of platform where you can be encouraged to develop talents. I've seen most of the acts, and it's astonishing the talent that is coming - perhaps we'll see it move into our Eurovision selection in future which would be brilliant!
"To give children an outlet where they can be more artistc, and display it on the world stage, is magnificant. The way you change opinon is to change from the grass roots up - giving children an experience like this can help them to only blossom and give them no fear," continued Niamh.
Of course the main difference to TG4's selection for Niamh is that everything is done in Irish. How is that working out for her? "It's been huge fun for me, because it moves you out into different things. We have to retake a few things, but generally speaking I'm doing ok! I'm loving the way it feels, it's a beautiful language" she said.
Naimh was speaking to Eurovision Ireland. You can watch the full interview: here.