'I want to take Eurovision back to Rock 'n' Roll Kids heyday' - Ryan
RTE has decided to send another ballad to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Former Fair City star Ryan O'Shaughnessy (25) will perform Together in the first Eurovision semi-final in Lisbon on May 8.
"My mum's as proud as punch," he said.
Last year, Ireland failed to make it to the finals when Brendan Murray performed ballad Dying to Try on a giant stationary balloon.
Sadly, Murray was just the latest casualty in Ireland's losing streak - we last qualified for the finals in 2013.
Ryan wants to return to Ireland's Eurovision glory days of the 1990s, when we won the contest four times.
In particular, he wants to go back to 1994, when Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan won with Rock 'n' Roll Kids.
"I am a huge fans of oldies," he said.
"The song that stood out most was Rock 'n' Roll Kids, so I am trying to bring it back to how the Eurovision used to be - when songs had a bit of meaning and truth."
He told the Ray D'Arcy radio show: "It is an honour to be flying the flag for Ireland."
Ryan is no stranger to TV - besides playing Mark Halpin in Fair City for 10 years, he has appeared on The Voice of Ireland, Britain's Got Talent and RTE's The Hit.
"I have been on the scene for a good while - everything has fallen into place. All I do is follow the passion," he said.
Asked if he thinks he can make it to the Eurovision final, he said: "A lot of politics come into play... but I'm giving it my best."
Unfortunately, it is not possible to listen to the single because it is not finished. However, RTE's head of Eurovision delegation is confident it has what it takes to get through the finals.
"Ryan is a seasoned pro," Michael Kealy told the Herald. "Together is a very nice ballad and I am very hopeful."
More than 300 songs were submitted for consideration, with the final contenders being whittled down by a panel of music producers and journalists.
It costs up to €300,000 to send a contestant to the Eurovision.