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Eurovision 2023: Ireland’s Wild Youth cut ties with creative director over trans posts

"His tweets make me feel sick," one band member said.

By Emily Maskell

Ireland's Eurovision act, Wild Youth.
Ireland's Eurovision act, Wild Youth. (Image: Instagram/@bandwildyouth)

Ireland’s Eurovision act, Wild Youth, has cut ties with their creative director after his comments about transgender people circulated online.

Posts on Ian Banham’s Twitter account, in which he referred to transgender women as men, were highlighted by a Eurovision discord account on Tuesday (25 April).

“Eurovision celebrates diversity through music. However, his remarks related to transphobia and Ukraine (and their victory last year) seem to run contrary to this,” the account tweeted.

The Irish band said they stand for “unity and kindness” and have subsequently “cut all ties” with Banham.

The indie rock band is formed of members David Whelan, Conor O’Donohoe, Ed Porter, and Callum McAdam.

Eurovision is just two weeks away with rehearsals to begin rehearsals in Liverpool next week.

The band has previously toured with Niall Horan and Lewis Capaldi. They were chosen to represent Ireland in February.

Furthermore, Wild Youth’s frontman O’Donohoe made a public apology on Twitter to “anyone who has been hurt or even had to read such horrible tweets.”

“Ian will have nothing to do with Wild Youth on our Eurovision journey.”

“He goes against everything I stand for, his tweets make me feel sick reading them.”

Furthermore, O’Donohoe shared that writing their Eurovision song involved lyrics he believes in – about “acceptance, unity and kindness.”

“Ian will have nothing to do with Wild Youth on our Eurovision journey,” O’Donohoe also added. “Again from the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry to anybody who had to read these tweets and was effected by them.”

Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham and Eurovision legend Graham Norton will co-host the 2023 Song Contest in Liverpool.

The two Semi-Finals are on Tuesday 9 May and Thursday 11 May. The Grand Final will then take place on Saturday 13 May.