Ireland's Eurovision Song Contest host broadcaster, RTE has revealed the staggering cost of the country's participation in the 2018 contest in Lisbon - with the final bill coming in at €304,000.
The full breakdown of costs includes the likes of €83,000 EBU participation fee, €42,000 accommodation costs, over €27,000 for staging/production and almost €14,000 for food - all of which sounds excessive, until you appreciate that Ireland's Eurovision delegation reportedly comprised of 18 people - including backing dancers, backing vocalists, commentators and of course the lead vocalist, Ryan O'Shaughnessy himself.
Despite the huge tab racked up by the Irish delegation in Lisbon, RTE actually managed to spend less on their Eurovision participation in 2018 than in both 2016 and 2017. In Stockholm two years ago, RTE spent €337,000 when Nicky Byrne took to the stage with the song 'Sunlight' and, in 2017, Brendan Murray's trip to Kyiv cost RTE €331,000 - both Nicky and Brendan failed to qualify for the Grand Final.
You can re-live Ryan O'Shaughnessy's Eurovision 2018 song 'Together' here:
RTE may have footed a huge bill for their participation in Eurovision 2018, but the spend was worth every Euro, as Ryan O'Shaughnessy took Ireland back to the Eurovision stage on a Saturday night for the first time in five years, when Ryan Dolan so tragically finished 26th (last) with the song 'Only Love Survives' in Malmö, Sweden in 2013. Ryan O'Shaughnessy's song, 'Together', was a fan favourite and came a very respectable 16th with 136 points in Lisbon.
What do you think about Ireland spending so much money on participating in Eurovision and what are your memories of Ryan O'Shaughnessy's performance in Lisbon? Share your thoughts in the comments below and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.