Saturday 24 March 2018

Denise Calnan: 1D fans, please give Niall a break

The 20-year-old's idea of a weekend at home in Mullingar with the family was probably more manic that he had envisaged.
The 20-year-old's idea of a weekend at home in Mullingar with the family was probably more manic that he had envisaged.
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

World-famous Westmeath singer Niall Horan took a deep breath and sat back on the couch.

Finally. Four months since the last time he was at home with his family, the 20-year-old One Direction star had a chance to relax.

“Family time ! This is great! Chillin, watchin the football, not movin off this couch for the day!,” he tweeted.

Rookie mistake Horan.

Within minutes, there was a crowd of One Direction fans outside the Horan’s family home.

Former ‘X Factor’ star and ‘One Directioner’ Niall spent the weekend at home in Mullingar for his nephew and godson Baby Theo’s christening.

"Last time i seen this little man he was 4 weeks old! He is the best baby ever," the star captioned a photo of himself and his godson Theo. (Instagram/Niall Horan)

But, like every Horan family occasion in the past three years and for many more years to come, it was Niall that became the centre of attention.

There’s no doubt about it, he’s put Westmeath on the map. Ireland, even, for some.

Niall shared this snap of his 'musical' cousins playing the piano at his family home. (Twitter/Niall Horan)
Niall shared this snap of his 'musical' cousins playing the piano at his family home. (Twitter/Niall Horan)

Whether the boys’ success continues for many more years or not, one thing is for sure, Niall Horan will never have a peaceful moment again.

The star used Twitter again on Saturday to communicate with his fans, this time a well thought-out message asking thousands of idolising girls to let him spend time with his family at home.

“Haven't seen my family in 4 months! Would be soo grateful if I could spend some quality time with them! Appreciate your respect !,” he wrote, with a few well-placed exclamation marks as to not cause a hormone-fuelled riot online.

But the tweet had little impact on the hundreds of girls that descended on Mullingar for a glimpse of their hero at the weekend.

Through the medium of social media, songs, books, posters and now a film, the One Direction boys have consistently thanked their fans for making them so successful.

It’s a modern wonder no doubt that Twitter can make these idols for millions so close to their fans and spur on their multi-million-euro worth of success, but ironic too how it can’t give them a moment of peace.

Hair-bands, books, videos, CDs, tapes, posters, activity books and t-shirts made up my own collection of my generation’s boyband obsession, Boyzone.

But the lack of constant tweeting, sharing and posting online at the time meant that Ronan and the boys were most definitely able to enjoy a quiet evening on the couch.

Niall stuck to his guns at the weekend when it came to meeting the fans.

He met dozens outside his family home in Mullingar after he returned home from a jog, but point-blank refused to speak to the crowds of teenage fans before and after his godson’s christening mass.

Clearly delighted with spending time with his family, however, the teen continued to tweet photos of himself and his baby nephew and posted a video of his cousins playing piano together.

A 20-year-old boy’s joy of being with his family once again after several months apart is easily understandable, but surely these tweets were only encouraging the fans to follow his every move?

The majority of the five One Direction boys have shown cracks in their super-happy exteriors when it comes to their fans’ obsession.

Niall was reportedly heard cursing fans as he passed through Dublin Airport last year, Liam Payne has lost his patience on Twitter and Zayn Malik has deactivated his Twitter account in protest.

Could the boys have predicted this intense level of fame when their Twitter followers started climbing up the ranks during their X Factor success in 2010?

Probably not.

Social media has indeed contributed to the boys’ success, but smart tweeting could do a lot for them too.

If it’s peace and quiet One Direction are looking for perhaps a step back on the Twittersphere could lend them a moment every now and then...

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