Monday 20 November 2017

Niall's 'X Factor' was shining through even at school

Niall Horan playing Oliver at St Kenny National School play aged just nine
Niall Horan playing Oliver at St Kenny National School play aged just nine
The posters made by students at Colaiste Mhuire, Mullingar, Co Westmeath for Niall
Niall and his bandmates in the 'X Factor' studios
Schoolboy Niall, aged 11

Eoghan MacConnell

While One Direction might not have secured 'the X Factor' crown, Mullingar's Niall Horan has succeeded in capturing the hearts and minds of fans in his home town.

Ann Caulfield, deputy principal of St Kenny National School, remembers Niall's school days with great fondness.

"He is remembered for his manners and his personality as much as his singing," she said.

"He was a little saintly child in the classroom and every other teacher would say the same. A very, very good boy."

His dedication to his former primary school was reinforced with a visit in September.

"We never asked him, he requested, his mum and himself said, can I come out to say hello to the children," explained Ms Caulfield.

Niall may not have sung but the students and staff were happy to serenade the rising star.

"We sang 'Consider Yourself at Home' when he arrived into the hall. Then we sang 'We would do anything for you Niall, Anything'," Ms Caulfield remarked.

Niall's personality shone through in the question and answer session, recalled Ms Caulfield.

"It is the personality going in with the singing. The communication skills, he signed autographs and his question and answer session was terrific, his answers were fantastic."

Principal Arthur Fallon remembered Niall's lead role as Oliver in a school play in 2004 when he was just nine years old.

"He had the lead part in 'Oliver' in 2004, he was in fourth class. I remember that song 'Where is Love', he sang that song, it's a very difficult song, and he sang it and it was very moving."

Niall's talent was nurtured at St Kenny National School, Co Westmeath, where he was also regularly selected to sing solo with the school choir.

Similarly at his secondary school, Colaiste Mhuire in Mullingar, Niall is remembered as a keen student, character and performer.

School principal Joe O'Meara said: "We are very very proud of him. When he got the nod to go into 'X Factor' he asked could he postpone his leaving cert which indicated to us that his feet were firmly on the ground."

Irish Independent

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