One Direction is through to the X Factor Final and among the members of the group is Niall Horan (17) from Mullingar. Niall's mother Maura Gallagher lives in Edgeworthstown and she is overjoyed by the group's success to date.
"Oh my God – it's absolutely fantastic," said Maura in speaking with the Longford Leader following the X Factor Semi-Final last weekend.
"It's still a surreal experience to see his face on the papers and on the television. It's the most unreal experience for him and for us."
Maura, who has travelled over to Fountain Studios in London to join in the X Factor Show, knows the pressure that One Direction has experienced in making it through to the final.
"The tension has been unreal on the Sunday nights. We (the families of One Direction) were all so tense and then there was such relief and excitement when they were called out as one of the 'safe ones'," said Maura, who has been living in Edgeworthstown with her husband Chris for six years.
"It's such a massive production. It really is incredible. It's been a real journey for us all," she said.
Already the five handsome boys have captured the hearts of young Irish and British girls, with some camping daily outside Fountain Studios. Alongside Niall are Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik.
"The rest of the lads are lovely. They come from ordinary families like ourselves. They are really jolly and they are the life and soul of the house," said Maura.
Talking about Mary Byrne's eviction last weekend, Maura said:
"Mary has been like a mother figure to One Direction in the house so we are sorry to see her go. We are hoping that the Irish will transfer their vote to Niall though. We are really looking for everyone to support him now."
Looking forward to next weekend's big final Maura is already feeling the nerves.
"I get sick in the stomach. You are nervous for them and you are hoping that it goes well for them," she said.
Maura and the rest of Niall's family will travel over to London on Saturday morning to support the X Factor's golden boy in his quest for success.
The X Factor Final will take place next Saturday (December 11) at 8pm on TV3. For further information check out www.tv3.ie/xfactor