Riverdance for Rwanda released on 11 August 1994
On 11 August 1994 the RTÉ video ‘Riverdance for Rwanda’ was launched to help raise money for Irish relief agencies in Rwanda.
Bill Whelan’s composition Riverdance featuring dancers Michael Flatley and Jean Butler caused a sensation when it was first performed during the Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin in April 1994. All the producers, musicians and dancers involved in the production waived their performance rights. All profits from the video release went directly to help the humanitarian operation in Rwanda.
RTÉ’s Assistant Director General Bobby Gahan said RTÉ wanted to do something positive to help the people of Rwanda. Producer Moya Doherty and composer Bill Whelan were equally committed.
The proceeds from video sales was distributed among five Irish relief organisations.
The Riverdance for Rwanda video sold 100,000 copies in Ireland, raising over IR￡230,000 for famine relief.