Niall makes it home and visits his old haunts

Caitlin McBride

X FACTOR star Niall Horan is one of the lucky few who was able to jet home for Christmas.

The teenage sensation (17), dubbed the Irish Justin Bieber, flew home to Mullingar last Friday and narrowly avoided spending the holidays in the UK.

Unlike Bray native and MTV star Laura Whitmore, who is stranded in her adopted home of London due to the travel chaos, Niall jetted back to Ireland to celebrate the festive season early.

However, the singing sensation is only back on our shores for a flying visit and concerns have been raised as to whether or not he will be able to get back to the UK on St Stephen's Day, as originally planned.

Speaking to the Herald, his brother Greg said: "Niall is home now, he's been here since Friday. He's just here until the 26 though."

And while he may be part of one of the biggest up-and-coming boybands in the world, and tipped to make €1m before the end of next year, he isn't splashing the cash on Christmas presents.

In fact, Greg revealed that it's difficult for the reality TV star to go about his day-to-day errands due to his newfound fame.

"We haven't bought anything yet, we're supposed to go shop for each other, but I don't know if we'll get to because the weather is so bad.

"It's the same Niall home, but there's something strange about him. He's been stopped in town and was spotted twice on Sunday, but one man had a lot of negative stuff to say to him."

The baby-faced teen even took time to stop by the Spar he did his work experience in during his whirlwind trip to Mullingar, and his former colleagues said that they always knew he was destined for big things.

General Manager of Spar, Ardleigh, David Nevin, said: "We were thrilled to see Niall back in the shop. He was a very well-liked member of staff during his time here.

"We had a running joke here in the shop during the X Factor that Niall's come a long way from Fruit Salads. They were his favourite sweets and he'd come in before school with €1 and would head off with 20 of them in his back pocket!"