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The price of coming last in the Eurovision . . . €140k to get Ryan and entourage to Sweden

CASH-STRAPPED RTE spent nearly €140,000 on our ill-fated Eurovision entry.

The selection process to choose the 2013 Irish entry cost a whopping €74,737 – it finished in last place.

And RTE spent €63,017 on sending a delegation of 17 people to Malmo, Sweden.

The national broadcaster spent €7,386 on flights; €37,089 on accommodation and €18,542 on subsistence.

The delegation included singer Ryan Dolan (27), two backing singers, a drummer, two dancers, the song writer and RTE personnel.

A sound engineer, make-up artist, and choreographer travelled with the delegation.

Strabane native Ryan notched up just five points in the competition, despite what was described as a "brilliant performance" with his song Only Love Survives.

In information supplied under the Freedom of Information Act, RTE said: "Delegates were obliged to stay in one of the officially designated hotels, all of whom are either five-star or four-star."

It said that the RTE delegation stayed in the Grand Hotel Malmo.

"The price of the hotel rooms were negotiated by the host broadcaster Sveriges Television AB (SVT). All rooms were standard single rooms. All flights were in economy class, " RTE said.

"It should be noted that the cost of sending Ireland's entry to the Eurovision Song contest is down 31.5pc on 2012."

RTE also pointed to the huge audiences who watch the competition.

It said: "The Eurovision Song Contest represents excellent value for money for RTE and for Irish television licence fee payers."

In relation to the Irish entry, the first of the three rehearsals was on May 7, with a dress rehearsal on May 17. There then followed the semi-final on May 14 and the final on May 18.

Marty Whelan was the RTE commentator.

Meanwhile, the broadcaster declined to release the cost of the fee paid by RTE to the European Broadcasting Union, as it said the cost of the programme licence fee was "commercially sensitive."

Speaking after the competition, Ryan Dolan said he has "no regrets" about competing in the long-running song competition.