Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018

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Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Country Ireland
National selection
Selection processInternal Selection
Selection date(s)Artist: 31 January 2018
Song: 9 March 2018
Selected entrantRyan O'Shaughnessy
Selected song"Together"
Selected songwriter(s)Ryan O'Shaughnessy
Mark Caplice
Laura Elizabeth Hughes
Finals performance
Semi-final resultQualified (6th, 179 Points)
Final result16th (136 points)
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄2017 2018 2019►

Ireland participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Together", performed by Ryan O'Shaughnessy and written by himself, Mark Caplice and Laura Elizabeth Hughes. The song and the singer were internally selected in January 2018 by the Irish broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) to represent the nation at the 2018 contest in Lisbon, Portugal.

Ireland was drawn to compete in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place on 8 May 2018. He sang in 18th position and qualified for the final, marking the country's first qualification since the 2013 Contest.[1]


Prior to the 2018 Contest, Ireland had participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 50 times since its first entry in 1965.[2] Ireland has won the contest a record seven times in total. The country's first win came in 1970, with then-18-year-old Dana winning with "All Kinds of Everything". Ireland holds the record for being the only country to win the contest three times in a row (in 1992, 1993 and 1994), as well as having the only three-time winner (Johnny Logan, who won in 1980 as a singer, 1987 as a singer-songwriter, and again in 1992 as a songwriter). In 2011 and 2012, Jedward represented the nation for two consecutive years, managing to qualify to the final both times and achieve Ireland's highest position in the contest since 2000, placing eighth in 2011 with the song "Lipstick". However, in 2013, despite managing to qualify to the final, Ryan Dolan and his song "Only Love Survives" placed last in the final. The Irish entries in 2014, "Heartbeat" performed by Can-Linn featuring Kasey Smith, in 2015, "Playing with Numbers" performed by Molly Sterling, in 2016 "Sunlight" performed by Nicky Byrne, and in 2017 "Dying to Try" performed by Brendan Murray all failed to qualify to the final.

Before Eurovision[edit]

Internal selection[edit]

On 31 January 2018, RTÉ announced Ryan O'Shaughnessy as the Irish entrant at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Together".[3]

At Eurovision[edit]

According to Eurovision rules, all nations with the exceptions of the host country and the "Big 5" (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) are required to qualify from one of two semi-finals in order to compete for the final; the top ten countries from each semi-final progress to the final. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) split up the competing countries into six different pots based on voting patterns from previous contests, with countries with favourable voting histories put into the same pot. On 29 January 2018, a special allocation draw was held which placed each country into one of the two semi-finals, as well as which half of the show they would perform in. Ireland was placed into the first semi-final, to be held on 8 May 2018, and was scheduled to perform in the second half of the show.[4]

Once all the competing songs for the 2018 contest had been released, the running order for the semi-finals was decided by the shows' producers rather than through another draw, so that similar songs were not placed next to each other. Ireland was set to perform in position 18, following the entry from Switzerland and preceding the entry from Cyprus.[5]


Ireland performed eighteenth in the first semi-final, following the entry from Switzerland and preceding the entry from Cyprus. At the end of the show, Ireland was announced as one of the ten countries who qualified to the grand final, making it their first qualification since 2013. Following the semi-final, Ryan O'Shaughnessy participated in a press conference with the other winners in which they drew which half of the final they'd perform in. Ireland was drawn to perform in the second half of the grand final.It was later revealed that Ireland placed sixth in the semi-final, receiving a total of 179 points: 108 points from the televoting and 71 points from the juries.


Voting during the three shows involved each country awarding two sets of points from 1-8, 10 and 12: one from their professional jury and the other from televoting. Each nation's jury consisted of five music industry professionals who are citizens of the country they represent, with their names published before the contest to ensure transparency. This jury judged each entry based on: vocal capacity; the stage performance; the song's composition and originality; and the overall impression by the act. In addition, no member of a national jury was permitted to be related in any way to any of the competing acts in such a way that they cannot vote impartially and independently. The individual rankings of each jury member as well as the nation's televoting results were released shortly after the grand final.

Points awarded to Ireland[edit]

Points awarded to Ireland (Semi-Final)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Points awarded to Ireland (Final)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point

Split voting results[edit]

The following five members formed the Irish jury:[6]

Points awarded by Ireland[edit]

Chinese broadcaster censorship[edit]

During the Chinese broadcast of the first semi-final on Mango TV, both Albania and Ireland were edited out of the show, along with their snippets in the recap of all 19 entries.[7] Ireland was censored due to its representation of a homosexual couple on-stage.[8] In addition, the LGBT flag was also blurred out from the broadcast.[9] As a result, the EBU terminated its partnership with the Chinese broadcaster, explaining that censorship "is not in line with the EBU's values of universality and inclusivity and its proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music." The termination led to a ban on televising the second semi-final and the grand final in the country.[10][11] A spokesperson for the broadcaster's parent company Hunan TV said they "weren't aware" of the edits made to the programme.[12] Ireland's representative O'Shaughnessy told the BBC in an interview, "they haven't taken this lightly and I think it's a move in the right direction, so I'm happy about it."[9]


  1. ^ "Nation shares pride at Eurovision qualification". 9 May 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Ireland Country Profile". EBU. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Ireland: Ryan O'Shaughnessy To Represent Ireland in Lisbon". Eurovoix.con. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  4. ^ Jordan, Paul (29 January 2018). "Which countries will perform in which Semi-Final at Eurovision 2018?". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Running order for Eurovision 2018 Semi-Finals revealed". European Broadcasting Union. 3 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  6. ^ Groot, Evert (30 April 2018). "Exclusive: They are the expert jurors for Eurovision 2018". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  7. ^ Park, Andrea (10 May 2018). "China censors Ireland's gay-themed Eurovision performance". CBS News. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  8. ^ Avelino, Gerry (9 May 2018). "China: Ireland and Albania removed from semi-final 1 broadcast". Eurovoix. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b "China channel barred from airing Eurovision". BBC News. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  10. ^ Royston, Benny (10 May 2018). "EBU bans Chinese Broadcaster". Metro. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Statement 10 May: EBU terminates this year's partnership with Mango TV". 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  12. ^ Washington, Jessica (11 May 2018). "China banned from broadcasting Eurovision after censoring same-sex dance". SBS News. Retrieved 11 May 2018.