This year Ireland will participate in the Eurovision Song Contest for the 52nd time. The Irish broadcaster has somehow abolished the national final. In the past years there was a small final held in the LateLate Show, but with more or less success. Nowadays there is an internal selection in Ireland as many other countries do the same.
The choice this year felt to the 25-years-old singer Ryan O’Shaughnessy, who was born in Skerries, north of Dublin in 1992. In the age of 8 he began to act in the Irish soap opera “Fair City” for almost nine years. Then Ryan has discovered that singing would be a good alternative. In 2012 he took part in The Voice Ireland and Britain’s Got Talent and reached the finals both. In the Irish songwriter casting show, with his self-composed song “No Name” he reached #5 in the Irish charts, this entry has been viewed over 45 mio times on YouTube. With his first EP “Ryan O’Shaughnessy” he reached #1 in Ireland and #9 in the UK.
The smart songwriter and singer is also playing the guitar, piano and saxophone. Ryan has been studying song writing at the college in Dublin and toured trough Canada and the USA.
With the Irish entry “Together” Ryan will follow the musical tradition of the successful years of Ireland in the ESC. It’s a sentimental love song about the end of love. Calm songs also succeed in the ESC, last year Salvador Sobral convinced with his dreamy ballad and millions loved it and voted for it. This could happen to Ryan as well. In the video clip the love story is about two men. Ryan will not only make is country proud, his uncle Gary O’Shaughnessy has represented Ireland with “Without Your Love” in Copenhagen 2001 and reached #21.
Finals: 44 (7 since 2004)
Top 10: 31
Chances for Top 10: 60%
Chances for Final: 47%
For Ireland it will be the 52nd time participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. Ireland is still the most successful country in the ESC with seven victories, closely followed by Sweden with 6 victories. Additionally, Ireland still has the record of three successive victories 1992, 1993 and 1994 and then another time in 1996. These were the golden years of Ireland in the ESC history.
Unfortunately, the jaunty times of the top positions and victories is over. This is due to several reasons e.g. the language rule was tilt in 1999, so from that year every participating country was able to sing in English or a language of preference. The unique advantage of the English speaking countries has gone. Furthermore the general interest has decreased dramatically thanks to the launch of the Semi Finals in 2004. Now Ireland has to go through the qualification process every year. And that’s where Ireland struggles. Maybe it’s a lack of good songs or the competition has become harder.
In the track record there is of course Johnny Logan, who could win two times as a singer with “What's Another Year” in 1980 and “Hold Me Now” in 1987. He could also win another time as a composer of “Why Me” sung by Linda Martin in 1992.
The chances for Ireland to be in the Top10 are still relatively high with 60%. Ireland and the music from Ireland is mostly connect with ethnic music and ballads. There were several attempts over the years to bring modern pop music. Best example here is Jedward who could bring new spirit into the contest with “Lipstick” in 2011 (8th place) and “Waterline” in 2012 (19th place). In the recent years Ireland was unsuccessful and did not pass the Semi Finals. The last time Ireland has been in the Grand Final was in 2013, which is already six years ago.
7x 1st place
Dana | All Kinds Of Everything (1970)
Johnny Logan | What's Another Year (1980)
Johnny Logan | Hold Me Now (1987)
Linda Martin | Why Me (1992) (The Interview with Linda Martin)
Niamh Kavanagh | In Your Eyes (1993)
Paul Harrington & Charlie McGettigan | Rock 'n' Roll Kids (1994)
Eimear Quinn | The Voice (1996)
4x 2nd place
Sean Dunphy | If I Could Choose (1967)
Linda Martin | Terminal '3' (1984)
Liam Reilly | Somewhere In Europe (1990)
Marc Roberts | Mysterious Woman (1997)
1x 3d place
The Swarbriggs Plus Two | It's Nice To Be In Love Again (1977)
“That’s What Friends Are For” | The Swarbriggs, Rank 9, Stockholm 1975
“Horoscopes” | Sheeba, Rank 5, Dublin 1981
“Every Song Is A Cry For Love” | Brian Kennedy, Rank 10 (Final), Athens 2006