Ireland has made it through to the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest – for the first time since 2013.

Ryan O’Shaughnessy got through the semi-final stage, in Lisbon, with the song Together, about the end of a love affair, which featured two male dancers telling the story of a couple on stage.

O’Shaughnessy’s ballad was accompanied by two male dancers acting out the romantic story of a couple, which got a huge cheer from the audience.

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With seven victories, Ireland is the most successful country at the contest, but finished in last place at the final in 2013.

Speaking after the announcement Ryan said: “We were beside Switzerland and or a moment I thought this is it we’re out.

“But something inside just said ‘that can’t be it’ and the camera moved over and they called out Ireland. They left us last for a reason…

“We have been the underdogs since we came here and no one thinks Ireland has what it had.

“But we made the Eurovision what it was and we are going to make it what it is in the future. We are going to win it on Saturday.

“Dublin for 2019. Unfortunately for RTE I hope they can afford it. I am feeling so happy and I am feeling so proud of my team.”

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Israel also made it through and led the way when it came to the most eccentric performances, with its singer “clucking like a chicken”.

Netta Barzilai, who performed her song Toy, has been the favourite with bookmakers to win this year’s competition.

She was dubbed “Bjork on steroids” for her energetic performance.

The first of the two semi-finals – with the second to air on Thursday – also saw former X Factor contestant Saara Aalto make it through to Saturday night, representing Finland.


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