Ireland's Ryan O'Shaughnessy is through to this year's Eurovision Song Contest Final in Lisbon, booking our place as one of Tuesday night's ten qualifying countries with the song Together

O'Shaughnessy was the penultimate act in the first semi-final in Lisbon and succeeded in making the city's Altice Arena feel very intimate with his delicate-yet-memorable performance.

Great work when we needed it most

It's the first time Ireland has made the Eurovision Final since 2013.

Also going through on the night were, in alphabetical order: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Israel and Lithuania. 

Estonia's Elina Nechayeva delivered a stunning performance on the night

It looked like it could be another year of Eurovision disappointment for Ireland, with the other nine nations already announced and Irish hopes once again resting on that final place. But then came the moment the country had been waiting for with the best saved 'til last.

Our man in Lisbon is still in Lisbon!

Afterwards, a remarkably composed O'Shaughnessy said: "We were sitting beside Switzerland, and for a moment I thought, 'This is it - we're out'. But something inside just said, 'No, that can't be it'. And the camera just moved over and it was us called out tenth!"

Flying the flag in style

The Dubliner contended that "they left us last for a reason". 

"We'd been the underdogs since we came into this competition"

"No one was really expecting it," he explained. "We'd been the underdogs since we came into this competition. No-one thinks Ireland have what we had [in the past] - but we've always had it. 

"We made the Eurovision what it was, and we're going to make it what it is in the future."  

Tuesday night's semi-final had been billed by fans and pundits as a 'Eurovision bloodbath', such was the quality of the acts competing for a place in the Grand Final. Even O'Shaughnessy had admitted he was facing a "mammoth task".

Cyprus' Eleni Foureira will be another one to watch on Saturday night

Cyprus, Estonia and Israel each showed why they have been tipped as potential 2018 winners.

 Israeli singer Netta is a real contender with ethnopop earworm Toy

From the first minute of O'Shaughnessy's performance it felt like Ireland's strongest Eurovision bid in years. The reaction afterwards on social media - from song to staging - was overwhelmingly positive. 

The reaction afterwards on social media - from song to staging - was overwhelmingly positive

The second Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final takes place in Lisbon on Thursday and will be broadcast on RTÉ2, RTÉ Radio 1 and the RTÉ Player from 8:00pm.

They've a big weekend ahead!

But Irish eyes are now on Saturday night, with a Eurovision 'curse' lifted - and everything to sing for.

After taking Wednesday off, Ryan O'Shaughnessy will be back rehearsing for the Eurovision Final

"We're used to that sinking feeling when the cameras go to all the other countries first and then at the last minute don't pick us and go to somebody else," said the Head of the Irish Delegation, Michael Kealy, after the results in Lisbon. 

"But tonight was different. Tonight was just brilliant." 

Also looking for votes in Saturday's Eurovision Final:

Albania
Austria
Bulgaria
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Estonia
Finland
Israel
Lithuania