Former Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan has called for the contest to be held elsewhere

An Irish Eurovision winner has joined the campaign to call for a boycott of next year's song contest in Israel.

Celebrities and public figures gathered in Dublin this morning to protest against sending an Irish entry to Eurovision 2019.

Activists are calling for a boycott over the occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel.

Charlie McGettigan who sang Rock 'n' Roll Kids in 1994 believes the contest should be held - but not in Israel.

He argued: "It's very obvious what's going on in Israel at the moment - it's very public.

"We have a chance now to protest about it."

He added that the "Eurovision down the years has had its fair share of protest songs".

Sinn Féin has previously called for a boycott of next year's song contest, accusing Israel of "grievous violations of international law and international humanitarian law".

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has rejected the calls for a State boycott, saying it would 'polarise things even further' in the region - but insisted he will continue to advocate internationally for "positive change in Israel and Palestine".

This morning, Minister Coveney has also announced an additional humanitarian funding of €250,000 for the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees - saying that "humanitarian needs in Gaza are critical and that all key services are under severe strain".