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Nicky Byrne will represent Ireland at this year's Eurovision

The 2FM DJ and former Westlife star will sing ‘Sunlight’ at the semi-final stage in Stockholm in May with the aim of qualifying for the contest proper on Saturday 14 May.

Eurovision - Nicky Byrne Nicky Byrne Source: RTE

NICKY BYRNE HAS been selected by RTÉ to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest next May.

The former Westlife star and current 2FM DJ will sing at the Eurovision semi-final on either the 10 or 12 May at the Globe Arena in Stockholm with the aim of qualifying for the contest proper on Saturday 14 May.

It had been rumoured for some time that Byrne was set to represent the country at this year’s contest.

His selection by RTÉ marks a departure from the competition-and-mentor style format used to select the Irish contestant for the last eight years.

The song, ‘Sunlight’, has been co-written by Byrne with Wayne Hector (who has written for artists such as One Direction and Britney Spears) and composer Ronan Hardiman (whose credits include the soundtracks for Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames shows).

Source: RTÉ - IRELAND’S NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA/YouTube

Hector has been voted one of the top 25 songwriters in the world, and numbers among his credits seven of Westlife’s number one singles.

Byrne seems delighted with his latest gig describing the Eurovision as “a tv show and song contest like no other”.

“It always brought great excitement to our house down through the years,” he says of the contest.

I am honoured RTÉ have chosen me and believe in this song like I do. I will give it my best shot.

Hector seems no less enthused, describing ‘Sunlight’ as “a song that we all love and believe in”.

We’ve written a song which is a great showcase for Nicky’s voice, so I’m looking forward to the night.

Ireland’s performance at the contest (in the years that we’ve made it as far as the final – something we’ve only managed five times in the last 11 years) has been less than stellar in recent times.

Even Jedward struggled to make an impression, so there may be quite a weight of expectation on the former Westlifer should he make the final.

Read: ‘Johnny Logan should watch out’: Kian Egan thinks Nicky Byrne could win the Eurovision

Read: We asked Marty Whelan to explain this photo

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