Eurovision 2020 has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus threat. The European Broadcasting Union, which runs the song contest, said it had looked at alternative arrangements but none were suitable. This year's event was due to have taken place in Rotterdam in May.
The Irish entrant, Lesley Roy, whose song Story of My Life is regarded as one of Ireland's strongest recent entries, said that the EBU was right to put people's safety first and that she believed her song, which is about overcoming difficulties, chimes with the present mood.
"We have to continue to believe in ourselves and stay uplifted especially when we feel knocked down. I will continue to support those who want to tell their stories and those who are brave enough to not give up. I will continue to be brave and I will continue to tell my story," she posted on Instagram.
"I want to thank the people of Ireland and everywhere in the world for your support. It means so much to me. I will always be proud to answer the call to represent my beautiful country of Ireland whatever year! My heart goes out to my fellow artists and Eurovision fans."
The EBU, which is considering whether this year's entries can be resubmitted next year, said earlier: "The uncertainty created by the spread of Covid-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities – mean the EBU has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned.
“We are very proud that the Eurovision Song Contest has united audiences every year, without interruption, for the past 64 years and we, like the millions of fans around the world, are extremely saddened that it cannot take place in May.
“We would ask people to bear with us while we work through the ramifications of this unprecedented decision and patiently await any further news in the coming days and weeks.”