Strabane Eurosong winner Ryan Dolan has spoken of his delight at representing Ireland at the world’s most watched song contest.
“I am thrilled to have been chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest,” Ryan said after topping the Eurosong 2013 poll following his appearance on Friday night’s ‘Late Late Show’.
The young singer-songwriter moves into the spotlight after playing support to many acts over the years including Tinchy Stryder and Jedward.
His song ‘Only Love Survives’ was co-written by fellow Strabane native Wez Devine and entered the iTunes top 200 earlier this year.
He has been described as one of the most exciting homegrown musical talents to be discovered in Ireland in recent years and his YouTube channel has received more than 800,000 hits.
Ryan said he was now looking ahead to the Eurovision in Sweden in May.
“A huge thank you to everyone who voted for the song. I really appreciate it. I’d like to thank my family, friends and my mentor Stuart for all their support over the last few months.
“It’s such an honour to have been chosen to represent Ireland at Eurovision. I can’t wait to perform in Malmö in May.”
Bookies Paddy Power have the Strabane man at 20/1 to win this year’s competition.
Ryan’s Eurovision mentor is Spotlight Productions director Stuart O’Connor. Stuart is the man behind the successful Jedward pantos and all Jedward’s live tours in the last three years and he devised the performance of Waterline at last year’s Eurovision. He also recently produced and directed The Best of Eurovision Show with six previous winners Johnny Logan, Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Dana, Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington.