Ryan O'Shaughnessy

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Ryan O'Shaughnessy
Ryan O'Shaughnessy (2) 20180508 EuroVisionary (cropped).jpg
O'Shaughnessy at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018
Background information
Born (1992-09-27) 27 September 1992 (age 25)
Origin Rush, Dublin, Ireland
Genres pop
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2001–present
Labels Sony, Syco, RCA (2012–present)

Ryan O'Shaughnessy (born 27 September 1992) is an Irish singer-songwriter and former actor from Loughshinny, Skerries, Dublin. He portrayed Mark Halpin in the popular TV series Fair City for nine years (2001-2010). In January 2012, he appeared in the inaugurative season of The Voice of Ireland and in May 2012, he took part in sixth series of Britain's Got Talent making it to the final and finishing fifth place. He represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Together" finishing 16th.

Early life[edit]

Ryan studied at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), also undertaking a music course as part of BIMM (British and Irish Modern Music Institute) in Dublin, Ireland.[1] He describes himself as a "versatile singer". He joined the Billie Barry Stage School when he was 4, and believes this is where he learnt his craft. He plays guitar, piano and saxophone while producing and writing for various artists.

Acting career[edit]

O'Shaughnessy played the role of Mark Halpin, the young son of Marty Halpin (played by Paul Lee) and Tess Halpin (played by Sabina Brennan) in the long-running Irish soap series Fair City. The Halpin family was gradually introduced in the early 2000s. O'Shaughnessy was introduced into the series at age 9 as a child actor portraying Mark. He had two siblings in the series, brother Damien played by Maclean Burke and sister Laura Halpin played by Liana O'Cleirigh.

In the series, his mother Tess becomes a victim of domestic abuse and is ultimately strangled by her husband Marty who goes on to commit suicide after killing her. The children Mark, Damien and Laura are orphaned but continue on the series. O'Shaughnessy continued to act as Mark Halpin in Fair City for nine years from 2001 to 2010, when he was retired at age 18. He was replaced in the series by the actor Cal Kenealy who continued as Mark Halpin, as O'Shaughnessy said he needed to quit preferring to continue with a musical career after nine years of appearing in the series.

Music career[edit]

The Voice of Ireland[edit]

O'Shaughnessy entered The Voice of Ireland in series 1 broadcast on RTÉ One from January to April 2012. At his audition recorded in October 2011 and broadcast in January 2012, he sang "The Power of Love" from Huey Lewis and the News with only one of the four jury chairs, that of Brian Kennedy turning and he defaulted to Kennedy's team.[2] For the battle shows recorded in November 2011 and broadcast in February 2012, Kennedy put him up against teammate Colin Hand. They both performed "One" by U2 with Kennedy opting for Ryan and sending him to the live shows.[3] In the first day of the live shows broadcast on 4 March 2012, he performed "Baby" from Justin Bieber, but was eliminated by public vote finishing in 23/24th place in the series.

Britain's Got Talent[edit]

After the battle rounds but before the live shows of The Voice of Ireland, O'Shaughnessy auditioned for Britain's Got Talent. He performed a self-written song called "No Name". The inspiration behind the song was a girl he had a crush on. He received yeses from all three judges, Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams. The audition aired after his elimination from The Voice of Ireland. At that time, O'Shaughnessy was contracted to record company Universal Records. One week before the live shows of The Voice of Ireland, the Britain's Got Talent call-backs were held. The judges were going to send O'Shaughnessy through to the live shows, but owing to his place on the live shows on The Voice of Ireland and contract with Universal, he was disqualified. It was later announced that O'Shaughnessy would appear in the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent after being released from his contract with Universal.[4]

He performed in the last semi-final where he performed another original song entitled "First Kiss". He received the most votes and was automatically sent through to the final.[5] For the final, he performed "No Name" a second time and placed 5th in the competition, with 4.8% of the vote.

Post-Britain's Got Talent[edit]

On 19 May 2012, it was announced O'Shaughnessy had signed a record deal with Sony Music. His first single "No Name" was released on 5 August, and he released his debut mini-album Ryan O'Shaughnessy on 13 August 2012. The mini-album contains six songs which are all penned by O'Shaughnessy himself, which includes the song "First Kiss", which he performed on Britain's Got Talent.[6] On 10 August 2012, he performed in his hometown, meeting the fans and signing copies of his mini-album.[7] On 23 August, he performed "No Name", his debut single, live on This Morning. On 30 August, he announced details of his first UK headline tour and played 11 dates throughout October 2012.[8]

In 2015, O'Shaughnessy released two singles, "Fingertips" and "Evergreen". In early 2016, he released another single, "She Won't Wait". O'Shaughnessy then began working on his debut album, which was projected for release in July 2016.[9]

The Hit[edit]

In July 2013, it was announced that O'Shaughnessy would be one of the artists taking part in the new Irish songwriting competition The Hit, going against his former The Voice coach Brian Kennedy.[10]

The show, which aired on 2 August 2013, saw six songwriters pitching their songs to both artists. In the initial stage each artist had to choose two of these six songs. O'Shaughnessy chose a song called "Blush" by Gavin Doyle and "Who Do You Love?" by Mark Graham and Frances Mitchell. O'Shaughnessy chose to release "Who Do You Love?" to enter the chart battle against Kennedy. O'Shaughnessy won the chart battle with the single charting at No.3 in the Irish Singles Chart beating Kennedy's song "Try" which charted at No.15.

On 30 August 2013 O'Shaughnessy, along with the four other chart battle winners, returned to perform their song live in The O2 for the Grand Finale with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.[11]

Bayview Records[edit]

In 2015, O'Shaughnessy established Dublin-based record label Bayview Records.

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

On 31 January 2018, O'Shaughnessy was announced as the Irish representative in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with the song "Together".[12] The song is co-written by O'Shaughnessy with 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.

He qualified for the Grand Final, after finishing 6th in the semi-final with 179 points, making it the first time Ireland qualified to the finals since 2013 with Ryan Dolan. Irish acts Can-Linn feat. Kasey Smith (2014), Molly Sterling (2015), Nicky Byrne (2016) and Brendan Murray (2017) had all failed to qualify.

O'Shaughnessy sang on May 12, 2018 in the Eurovision finals, in which he came 16th.[13]

Ireland's entry was marred with controversy. During the Chinese broadcast of the first semi-final on Mango TV, the Irish entry was edited out of the Chinese broadcast of the show, along with the snippets in the recap of all 19 entries.[14] O'Shaughnessy's song was censored due to its representation of a two male dancers dancing together on-stage.[15] 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.[16][17] A spokesperson for the broadcaster's parent company Hunan TV said they "weren't aware" of the edits made to the programme.[18] 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."[19]

Personal life[edit]

Ryan was born in 1992 in Loughshinny, a small village in North County Dublin, Ireland. Ryan is the youngest of three children. He has an elder brother named Graham and sister named Apryl. His uncle Gary O'Shaughnessy represented Ireland in Eurovision Song Contest 2001 with the song "Without Your Love".[20] Gary placed 21st in a field of 23 contestants.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details
Back to Square One
  • Released: 11 November 2016
  • Label: Bayview Records
  • Formats: Digital download, CD

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Ryan O'Shaughnessy
  • Released: 13 August 2012
  • Label: RCA
  • Formats: Digital download, CD
1 9


Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"No Name" 2012 3 31 Ryan O'Shaughnessy
"Who Do You Love?" 2013 3 Non-album singles
"Fingertips" 2015
"She Won't Wait" 2016
"Got This Feeling" 2017 Back to Square One
"Together" 2018 17
168 59 8 [A] Non-album single
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • 2001–2010: Fair City as Marty Halpin (Irish TV series)
  • 2013: The Beo Show (5 episodes, "Inspiration" / "Doing Two Things at Once" / "Jamming" / "How to Use Your Microphone" / "No Name"
  • 2014: Poison Pen as Piers (Irish comedy feature film)


  1. ^ "Together" did not enter the UK Singles Chart, but peaked at number 52 on the UK Downloads component chart.[27]


  1. ^ "Britain's Got Talent Judges predict a great future for DIT Student O'Shaughnessy". Retrieved 20 May 2012. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Ryan O'Shaughnessy, Team Brian". Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Voice of Ireland – Contestants – Ryan O'Shaughnessy". Archived from the original on 10 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "BGT Singer Ryan Fired Then Rehired". Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Ryan O'Shaughnessy is viewers' choice". Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "'BGT' Ryan O'Shaughnessy announces debut single 'No Name'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "BGT star Ryan performs today in Dublin". RTÉ Ten. RTÉ. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "'Britain's Got Talent's Ryan O'Shaughnessy announces headline UK tour". Digital Spy. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Hit – Episode Two". Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Final line-up of artists for The Hit announced". RTÉ Ten. 
  11. ^ "Top 5 Hit for O'Shaughnessy". RTÉ Ten. 
  12. ^ Jordan, Paul (2018-01-31). "Ryan O'Shaughnessy to represent Ireland in Lisbon!". Eurovision.tv. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  13. ^ Zwart, Josianne (2018-05-13). "Israel's Netta wins the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest!". Eurovision.tv. Retrieved 2018-05-13. 
  14. ^ Park, Andrea (10 May 2018). "China censors Ireland's gay-themed Eurovision performance". CBS News. Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  15. ^ Avelino, Gerry (9 May 2018). "China: Ireland and Albania removed from semi-final 1 broadcast". Eurovoix. Retrieved 9 May 2018. 
  16. ^ Royston, Benny (10 May 2018). "EBU bans Chinese Broadcaster". Metro. Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  17. ^ "Statement 10 May: EBU terminates this year's partnership with Mango TV". eurovision.tv. 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018. 
  18. ^ Washington, Jessica (11 May 2018). "China banned from broadcasting Eurovision after censoring same-sex dance". SBS News. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  19. ^ "Eurovision 2018: Chinese channel barred from airing contest". bbc.com. 11 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  20. ^ "Ryan O'Shaughnessy to represent Ireland in Lisbon - ESCXTRA". ESCXTRA. 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  21. ^ a b "Ryan O'Shaughnessy – Irish Charts". irish-charts.com/ Hung Medien. 
  22. ^ a b "The Official Charts Company – Ryan O'Shaughnessy". The Official Charts Company. 6 May 2013. 
  23. ^ "Discographie Ryan O'Shaughnessy". lescharts.com. Retrieved 20 May 2018. 
  24. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Chart Top 100: 18 May 2018 – 24 May 2018". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 May 2018. 
  25. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 20, 18 maj 2018". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  26. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 19 May 2018. 
  27. ^ "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Brendan Murray
with "Dying to Try"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
[to be determined]