THE mum of One Direction star Niall Horan has told of how hearing thousands of American girls scream her son's name is like "winning the lottery".
Maura Gallagher told the Herald that seeing the 18-year-old singer and his band storm the charts in the US has been among the proudest moments of her life and has been an emotional experience for her.
"It makes me very emotional seeing what he's doing, it really is changing his life -- it's so huge. What else could a mother ask for for her child? I absolutely never dreamt that this would all happen, it's mind blowing."
Since becoming a singing sensation stateside, Mullingar native Niall has been crowned the favourite member of 1D.
"Niall's was the only name I have heard being chanted there, it was especially nice because for me, it was great to hear that."
Maura puts it down to the heartthrob's Irish roots: "Being the little Irish fella helped -- I do think it's because he's Irish. They have given him so many green accessories, like hats, flags, leprechauns, the lot -- everything goes into boxes and is given out to hospitals.
"He's a great head on his shoulders too, he's very humble and gives everyone a minute. I always warn him to be nice to the girls and always chat to them and pose for pictures."
But Maura is staying tight-lipped on revealing the identity of a former sweetheart of Niall's.
"He had a girlfriend at home, from his school days, before he auditioned for X Factor. But then he was doing that and she was doing exams, so life is very different for him now. I don't know if he sees much of her when he's home, she was lovely, but they were only 16 at the time -- there's never anything too steady about a relationship at that age."
Maura has just jetted home after spending two weeks in America as a gift from her son.
While she misses having the X Factor graduate at home, she was thrilled to get to spend Mother's Day with him and couldn't have asked for a better way to enjoy the occasion. "He had a few days off and we did some sightseeing together with my sister, who lives in New York. Sometimes you feel you're not part of it, you only do when you're going somewhere with him and in the thick of it all. Being in Ireland I see him the least compared to the other boys' parents in the UK, so it was a massive chance for fly me out to him.
"I brought him 14 years ago and he brought me this time around -- I didn't put my hand in my pocket at all, I've never had that in my life," she added.