Dublin Bay, Hawaii, John Lydon, PiL and Eurovision

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Baily Lighthouse and Dublin Bay could double as Hawaii Baily Lighthouse and Dublin Bay could double as Hawaii

Picture the scene, we're a year ahead and it's May 2024, a beautiful sunny day and below us the Baily Lighthouse and Dublin Bay with RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster on the other side.

RTE are preparing to host Eurovision, after Ireland's 2023 entry, Hawaii by Public Image Ltd (PiL) fronted by John Lydon, won the famous music competition in May 2023.

Well, that is the possibility as tomorrow night, Friday 3rd of February 2023 Lydon and PiL will be performing on RTE's The Late Late Show as part of a competition to find the country's entry for this year.

Hawaii is a paean to Lydon's wife of almost 50 years, their life together and one of their happiest moments together, in Hawaii. Nora now is living with Alzheimer's; the song, video and artwork are "... dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most,” says John Lydon. “It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.”

Of course, the show might not be taking place on the shores of Dublin Bay, but as with many of Ireland's, record seven wins it might be held in Millstreet, a small village in County Cork should Hawaii win for Ireland this year marking the 30th anniversary of Niamh Kavanagh's win, the second of three in a row.

As a coincidence I was reading this week the story of how, when the Sex Pistols were having trouble getting a hotel in Manchester in 1976 they turned up to the Clifton Grange Hotel owned by Philomena Lynott, the mother of one of Ireland's most famous rock and rollers, Phil Lynott.

It was somewhat notorious, a showbiz hangout (nicknamed The Biz) for all sorts such as George Best, Manchester United footballers, musicians and local gangsters because the bar was open through to six in the morning when all else was shut.

She told the Manchester Evening News that Lydon and the Sex Pistols were "...the nicest-mannered; I've never forgotten them."

Of course, both of Lydon's parents were Irish with his father from County Galway and his mother from County Cork.

It was on Howth, close to Sutton, that Philomena lived overlooking Dublin Bay when I met her in 2016 and interestingly I was there with someone from Hawaii who remained a good friend of Philomena in her final years.

Indeed, the view above could double for Hawaii on a fine Irish May day.

So, here we are now with Lydon's PiL performing the moving, emotive, personal song on Ireland's longest running chat show, the Late Late with the hope of bringing this powerful song of love to the Eurovision stage.

The Late Late Show starts at 21:30 Irish time on Friday the 3rd of February. Stream it on the RTE Player.

Last modified on Saturday, 04 February 2023 22:19
Darren McLoughlin

Irishman and International travel photographer in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Echtra Echtra and Eonmusic

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about travel in Ireland or about photography in Ireland.


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