‘Spreading our message is a victory in itself’ – Ryan O’Shaughnessy proud of Ireland’s Eurovision performance

Ireland’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy pictured departing his hotel on the way to the Altice Arena in Lisbon for the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Picture: Andres Poveda

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 last night – the country’s best Eurovision result in seven years.

The singer caused controversy in some parts of the world after he decided he wanted a gay couple to dance to the song’s love story.

Events culminated earlier this week when China censored the performance of the sing – resulting in a swift ban from the EBU.

While Ryan said it was “disappointing Ireland didn’t get the points we really wanted”, he told Independent.ie that spreading his message globally is 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 throughout the week: “I think Ireland is the best country in the world. 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 for the week.”

He added that now the contest is finished, he’s looking forward to spending time with his family back in Skerries in north Do 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.”

And despite the whirlwind Eurovision has been, he hasn’t ruled out a second attempt. “We’ll see”, he said coyly.

Independent.ie