Published on January 13, 2016
Former WESTLIFE star NICKY BYRNE has been selected to represent his native Ireland in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
The singer was chosen by executives of broadcaster RTE to give Ireland a fighting chance of victory following a disappointing run of results, including the past two years when the country failed to qualify for the final.
Byrne will be performing a track titled Sunlight, which he co-wrote with songwriter Wayne Hector and Lord of the Dance composer Ronan Hardiman.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. I really am. To be given the opportunity to represent our country is huge,” Nicky told RTE.ie. “I’m really looking forward to it… We have what we feel is a really catchy, kind of pop/soft rock song… People will make their own minds up, but we really have given what we feel is our best chance, from our point of view.”
RTE bosses opted to select Byrne rather than hold a national competition to find Ireland’s representative in a bid to boost the country’s chances in the competition.
John McHugh, Head of Entertainment at RTE Television, said, “Direct selection has proven to be a successful method for other countries and we felt that this year it would give us the best chance at success.”
Byrne will head to Stockholm, Sweden to perform in a Semi-Final contest from 10-12 May (16) to qualify for a place in the final on 14 May (16).