Ireland has failed to reach the Eurovision final

Nicky Byrne was knocked out of tonight's semi-final

Ireland, Nicky Byrne, Eurovision, Stockholm, Sunlight, semi-final, RTE

Nicky Byrne (second right) with others backstage | Image: Anna Velikova (EBU)

Ireland has failed to reach the final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Nicky Byrne was one of 18 performers vying to qualify for the next stage of the competition in tonight's second semi-final. 

The former Westlife star fell short to acts from Latvia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Australia, Ukraine, Serbia, Poland, Israel, Lithuania and Belgium.

Seven other countries also failed to clinch a spot in Saturday night's grand final in Stockholm.

Ireland's song entry, Sunlight, was co-written by Mr Byrne with composer Ronan Hardiman and British songwriter Wayne Hector.

Professional juries in each of the participating countries - as well as in Germany, Italy and United Kingdom - voted on yesterday's dress rehearsal, accounting for 50% of the overall total.

The remaining 50% of the votes were decided by a public televote in the same 21 countries. 

These votes were added to those of the juries to determine the countries that qualified for the final.

The acts that made it through tonight's contest will join the 10 acts that progressed from the first semi-final on Tuesday. 

The UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and host country Sweden are all automatic finalists.

Despite holding the record for the most Eurovision victories, Ireland has not won the competition since 1996.