Niall Horan’s mother has defended her son following complaints that he was seen drinking alcohol on a recent episode of his new show with Lewis Capaldi.
The two pop stars visited Horan’s hometown for Virgin Media’s Niall Horan’s Homecoming: The Road to Mullingar with Lewis Capaldi, which aired on Sunday night, but some viewers have said that Niall was setting a bad example to his young fans when he was seen drinking Guinness in a local bar.
Speaking to Joe Duffy on RTÉ Radio 1’s Liveline on Niall’s mother, Maura Gallagher, said: “He was holding a pint of Guinness but it was Zero Zero all the way. I can only speak about the part where he came to Mullingar and he was in the pub. I was there and Zero Zero was given and I can’t drink it because I’m celiac, but my husband tasted it and he said it was lovely.
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“Niall wasn’t drinking alcohol and he wasn’t drinking and driving and any of that sort of thing,” she added.
“To be honest, my friends all said it was a lovely show and they never mentioned Guinness. The show gave everyone an insight into Ireland, the guitar factory up in Louth and all these places and I was lovely to see Niall bring Lewis all around.”
Asked if Niall does indeed drink alcohol, Maura said: “He does drink. I think he’s partial to a good pint of Guinness, yes.”
Speaking about the criticism of her son, she said: “Well, people are entitled to their opinion but when I heard about it, I couldn’t wait to see Niall and Lewis and when I watched the show the other night, Guinness didn’t come into my head at all.
“I was just laughing at the two of them and their carry-on. The fact that they were sitting there with a couple of glasses of Guinness didn’t register with me. I don’t go deep into things.”
She also confirmed that her son, who turned 29 last month, is in a relationship.
“He has brought her home to Mullingar. I have met her. She’s a lovely girl. She’s from England and she’s not in the business so that’s good. She’s not known at all. She has met Nanny Margaret too. I’m not going to give her name!”
Niall is due to become a judge on the US version of The Voice and asked how she deals with his fame, Maura said: “It’s strange being his mother and looking at him on the television. I have a grin from ear to the other. When you think of him as a world star, it’s mind-blowing really. To me, he’s just Niall.”
She also revealed details of his eating habits on his visits home to Mullingar.
“He eats very healthily compared to me,” Maura said. “He’s very much into salads and chicken and maybe a Bolognese but I think the days of the cabbage and bacon for Niall are gone.
“He makes Bolognese from scratch. I make it out of a jar. He’s a fantastic cook. He’d make his own dressings for salad. There’s another bit of information!”
Niall donated part of his fee for his new show with Capaldi to charity and Maura said: “He has a big heart. Any illness of charity, I can see it on his face when he tells me about them, be it cancer or autism or the elderly.
“My own mother, Margaret, is 92 and he thinks she’s the greatest thing! She’s flying it! She’s great, very alert and very with it and she was so excited for him the other night on the television. She wouldn’t miss it!
“She’s definitely the proud granny. The famous granny. I’m just the mother. My other son, Greg, is older and he’s so proud of Niall, so proud.”
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She also spoke about how Niall’s fans sometimes come to her house. “They used to come to the gate, but I live back in behind a drive. His dad has them sitting on his wall, coming from Germany and Australia and singing in the letterbox.
“Never. Never in a million years did I think Niall would become this famous. It took a lot out of me when it happened. I got so anxious because all of a sudden you had to be doing interviews and meetings in England because he was underage.
“When you’re thrown into that… I’d be very quiet; I wouldn’t have huge confidence in public or speaking on the radio. One Direction were very well minded and looked after. They had fantastic security all the time.
“You didn’t really have to worry about the outside world. I was worried if he was sick, I couldn’t get near him to give him a hug or a hot drink, but he’s well minded. Niall has kept his feet on the ground, but we are very ordinary people, I suppose.
“I could have gone with the fame, but I couldn’t change. I don’t know how to.”
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