Entertainment

Monday 21 May 2018

We spread message of love, says Eurovision star Ryan

Ryan O’Shaughnessy performs at the contest in Lisbon
Ryan O’Shaughnessy performs at the contest in Lisbon
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

Ryan O'Shaughnessy has said the final Eurovision scoreboard isn't the most important result for him - he's proud his message of LGBT inclusivity has been spread around the world.

Ireland finished 16th in the final in Lisbon on Saturday - the country's best Eurovision result in seven years. The singer caused controversy in some parts of the world after he decided to have a gay couple dance to the love song.

Events culminated earlier this week when China censored the performance - resulting in a swift ban from the European Broadcasting Union, which operates Eurovision.

While Ryan said it was "disappointing Ireland didn't get the points we really wanted", he said spreading his message globally was a victory in itself.

"It's been amazing to be able to spread this message we have around Europe, one of the biggest things we wanted to do was push a message of inclusivity and that love is love. I've been energised by everything that's happened around the performance and the messages of support we've been receiving from around the world."

He also thanked the Irish public for backing him. "We've become a leading liberal country over the last few years. I think when there's a good news story Irish people love to get behind it. The support I received has really driven me on."

He added that now the contest is finished, he's looking forward to spending time with his family back in Skerries, Co Dublin.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my grandparents and spending some time with my girlfriend. I can't wait to get back to my little studio and go down to Skerries beach and watch the sea," he said.

He hasn't ruled out a second Eurovision attempt, saying: "We'll see."

Irish Independent

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