| 11.1°C Dublin

Surge of bets for Niamh in Euro sing-off

Niamh Kavanagh's performance in the Eurovision semi-finals has caused an impressive surge in Irish support -- with other European countries even placing their bets on us.

The flame-haired songstress (42) will be taking the stage in Oslo tonight as the first Irish act to make the finals in the last four years.

And her sensational restoration of Ireland's battered reputation in the song contest has spurred punters to bet on her success in their droves.

According to bookies, Ireland still faces stiff competition from six other countries to take home the title of winner.

But the support this year has been monumental. At 16/1 with Paddy Power, Ireland still has to beat Belgium, Turkey, Denmark, Israel, Armenia, Germany and Azerbaijan, which is tipped to be crowned winner.

And the mother of two will be banking on her lucky streak after sailing through the semi-finals on Thursday night by wearing the same purple couture dress on stage tonight.


She quoted the age old adage of "Don't fix what's not broken," as her justification for the wardrobe repeat.

Speaking yesterday, the singer who wowed audiences with It's For You, said that she was confident about tonight's performance thanks to the steady "team" behind her.

Niamh admitted that she was not surprised that Azerbaijan were being tipped to take the title, due to the extensive campaign they have organised.

"They are so keen to win, you have no idea.

"The campaign they have spent money on, it's been outrageous, everywhere," she said.

An Irish win could also result in bookies paying out a six-figure sum to winners.

Paddy Power revealed that if Ireland succeeded tonight, it could cost them almost €200,000.

Meanwhile, RTE is preparing to back our girl 100pc and is gearing up to host next year's competition if she wins.

Eurovision Song Contest rules state that the winning country must host the competition the following year.