IRELAND HAS suffered heartbreak in the Eurovision Song Contest after failing to qualify for the Grand Final.
It’s been 25 years since Ireland last tasted success in the competition with Eimear Quinn and her title-winning 1996 entry The Voice.
Despite boasting a pedigree that includes a record seven wins in the competition they will now sit out Saturday’s showpiece final in Rotterdam.
It comes despite the best efforts of Lesley Roy who took to the stage in the semi-finals representing Ireland on Tuesday night.
The Dublin singer had been due to perform at the 2020 Eurovision Song contest prior to the event’s cancellation in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She appeared to be eager to make up for lost time, taking to the stage at Rotterdam’s Ahoy Stadium to deliver an energetic performance.
Her song, Maps, may not have been a standout track, but Roy made up for it with a vibrant performance that included an inventive backdrop of moving paper cut-outs.
Roy’s efforts were made all the more impressive by the act she was actually slightly late on stage in a mishap that might have thrown singers but not the Dubliner.
It was a performance that drew rapturous applause from those in attendance and similar praise on social media.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) May 18, 2021
However, it failed to inspire the same reaction among voters with the 10 progressing nations decided by members of the public and the usual national juries.
In truth, Roy always faced an uphill battle to reach the final, given that they were placed in a semi-final alongside two of this year’s favourites, Cyprus and Malta.
They both advanced to the final along with Norway, Israel, Russia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Sweden, Belgium and Ukraine.
Ireland missed out along with Slovenia, Australia, North Macedonia, Croatia and Romania.
A further 18 countries will compete in the second semi-final, which is due to take place tonight.
The 20 qualifying semi-finals will join Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the UK, who al qualify as their respective national broadcasters underwrite the costs of hosting.
The Netherlands will also compete as 2019 winners and hots.
The Grand final will be broadcast on RTÉ One and BBC1.