Cookies on Dublin People website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Dublin People website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
Hide Message
  • Southside

Eurovision Song Contest winner’s history revealed

Saturday, 27th April, 2019 7:00pm
Eurovision Song Contest winner’s history revealed

Eimear Quinn has a fascinating background.

Eurovision Song Contest winner’s history revealed

Eimear Quinn has a fascinating background.

THE family history and DNA company MyHeritage has revealed the fascinating Irish history of Southside international recording artist and 1996 Eurovision Song Contest winner, Eimear Quinn.

Eimear, from Mount Merrion,  is best known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest 1996 with the song ‘The Voice’.

Now, new results have uncovered a deep and colourful family connection to the Emerald Isle that can be traced as far back as 1700 Ireland.

MyHeritage DNA test results, SuperSearch historical records, and family tree data has revealed that Eimear’s family played a vital role in the local Dublin economy.

Comprising centuries of proud Dubliners, Eimear’s family were long-time members of the Liberties, one of Dublin’s oldest neighbourhoods. They were bakers, tobacco spinners dress makers, silk weavers, tailors, shoemakers, brewery workers and market gardeners.

Her great-grandfather, Patrick Sharkey, was an instrumental part of the famous Guinness brewery in the heart of Dublin. The foreman of the cooperage department, he was in charge of 300 skilled workers.

Opening in 1759, by 1894 when Patrick started working there at the age of 14, it was the largest brewery in world, exporting as far as New Zealand. 

Strong connections to a workhouse called the South Dublin Union (SDU) meant the family was directly affected by the violent Easter Rising of 1916, which saw control seized of the SDU and its 3,272 residents as the nationalists revolted against British rule in Ireland.

 Eimear’s DNA test results revealed 96 per cent Irish, Scottish, and Welsh ethnicity.

Perhaps less expected are the remaining results: she is 3.1 per cent Ashkenazi Jewish, and 0.9 per cent Middle Eastern. In addition to four extended family members, Eimear has over 5,000 relatives from 29 different countries worldwide. 

 This fascinating deep-dive into Quinn’s background is the latest instalment following an exclusive partnership with Eurovision Song Contest stars past and present to build the Eurovision Family Tree.

 Over the next few months the likes of Dami Im, Lenny Kuhr, Izhar Cohen and Poli Genova will join Eimear Quinn in discovering their ethnic origins and uncovering incredible stories about their family history.

Proving that families really do come in all shapes and sizes, MyHeritage has already revealed some exciting connections between Eurovision legends, current contestants, and dedicated Eurovision fans.

 MyHeritage is Presenting Partner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, taking place between May 12 and 18 this year. Eurovision is the world’s largest live music event, watched by an average of 200 million people around the world.

Founded in 2003 and with 101 million users, MyHeritage is the world’s fastest growing family history and DNA company. It has a DNA database of 2.5 million, and holds 9.6 billion historical records.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here