Irish broadcaster RTÉ has revealed their internal choice for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. It will be Sarah McTernan with her song “22” who will be flying the Irish flag in Tel Aviv.

After RTÉ‘s second annual Eurovision Song Contest Forum in August 2018 around 430 songs were submitted to RTÉ that where evetually shortlisted by a row of panels comprising music experts, journalists, Eurovision fans and students from the Award Winning UK Music College BIMM. Ultimately Sarah McTernan and her song “22” were chosen to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv. The very first live performance is set to take place on “Dancing With The Stars” this Sunday, March 10.

Irish Head of Delegation Michael Kealy commented on Ireland’s final decision:

We received a huge amount of entries for this year thanks in part to Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s great performance in Lisbon last year. Sarah has an amazing voice which stood out the minute I heard it and she fits perfectly with our chosen song ’22’. I think the Eurovision audience will love her, now it’s full steam ahead preparing for her performance in Tel Aviv in May.

Sarah McTernan herself also spoke out about her participation at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, expressing her excitement and enthusiasm:

It’s like an early birthday present! My 25th birthday is next Monday and if you’d told me last year that I’d be chosen to represent my country at Eurovision, performing the song for the first time on Dancing with the Stars this Sunday, and then flying to Tel Aviv on my birthday to record a postcard, I would have told you – you were crazy! My Mum, Nana, family and friends are super excited for me – they’re shocked and very proud. I can’t wait to teach my biggest fan – my 2 ½ year old daughter Mia – all the lyrics to ’22’!

Ireland’s 2019 entry “22” is written by Janieck, Marcia “Misha” Sondeijker and Roulsen. The accompanying music video was directed by Christian Tierney who also directed the music video for Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s 2018 Eurovision entry “Together”. Tierney’s work includes collaborations with a row of artits such as Hozier, Niall Horan, The Weeknd, Macklemore, Demi Lovato, Drake, The 1975 and James Bay.

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IMAGE: RTÉ

25-year-old Sarah McTernan is an Irish singer songwriter from Scariff, County Clare. She is best known for participating in “The Voice of Ireland” in 2015, in which she was mentored by Rachel Stevens of S Club 7. She eventually finished third in the final. After her participation at “The Voice of Ireland” Sarah McTernan formed her own band called “The Jeds” performing at weddings and other gigs. In 2018 she applied to represent San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon with the song “Eye of the Storm” but failed to make it past the online vote.