Niall's Next Top Model: Meet the Irish girl who stole the 1D star's heart
Niall Horan is rumoured to be dating Irish model Zoe Whelan, but his mother insists that they are just "good friends"
Models and popstars go together like bread and butter, so it's little wonder that One Direction's Niall Horan has set his sights on a model. The Mullingar native, who is in the middle of touring with the boyband, is rumoured to be dating Irish model Zoe Whelan, who is relatively unknown on the Irish scene but making waves in England.
The beautiful brunette reportedly caught his eye when they met backstage at a Dublin gig and have stayed in touch since, with Zoe even attending Niall's brother Greg's wedding last month.
"Niall has been secretly seeing Zoe for a couple of months after he met her backstage," an insider revealed.
"She’s a Dubliner but is based in London to work on her modelling career. Zoe’s travelled all over the UK to meet up with Niall on the band’s tour." And the 19-year-old singer is said to be very "protective" of his new love interest as she is quite shy.
However, Nial's mother has insisted that they are just "good friends". Maura Gallagher told the Irish Independent she was introduced to Zoe Whelan, an aspiring model reported to be Niall's current flame, at the wedding of her eldest son Greg, in March.
The 19-year-old popstar struck up a friendship with Whelan (18), the niece of one of his bodyguards, backstage at a concert in recent months.
She watched Niall perform on stage while One Direction were at the O2 in Dublin and also went to one of the act's shows in Manchester.
Whelan studied at Marino College of Further Education and is currently based in the UK. She attended Greg's wedding to Denise Kelly in Castletown Geoghegan with a friend. They arrived in a white Range Rover and were met by Niall's security on the day.
The Mullingar teen's family said that while Niall did invite Whelan to the nuptials, he is not in a relationship.
"Niall brought her over to introduce her to me and said 'now you know where I get my height from', laughing. He never introduced her as a girlfriend or anything - if she is, it's news to me," Ms Gallagher said.
"I didn't hear anything of her when I was in living in London either."
Newlywed Greg added that he knew the pair were friends, but didn't think it was anything more than that.
It's been a busy couple of months for the singer, who is back on the 'Take Me Home' world tour with award-winning One Direction following a week long break between concert dates so he could attend the family occasion back in his hometown.
Greg added that Niall will be pencilling in a return visit to Westmeath summer, to meet his newborn niece or nephew.