Ryan Dolan from Strabane has been announced as the winning act to represent Ireland at the 58th Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden in May. Ryan battled it out against four other finalists in the Late Late Show - Eurosong 2013, topping the vote which was a combination of 50% public tele-vote and 50% regional jury vote.
Ryan composed his song Only Love Survives with Wez Devine.
The young singer-songwriter has played support to many acts over the years including Tinchy Stryder, Jedward and many more. He has been described as one of the most exciting homegrown musical talents to be discovered in Ireland in recent years. His YouTube channel has received over 800,000 hits.
Ryan said of his win: “I am thrilled to have been chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. 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.”
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. He devised the performance of Waterline at last year’s Eurovision. He 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.