Irish pop idol’s Twitter following hits 7 million

One Direction star Niall Horan has hit the seven million mark on Twitter, giving him more followers than all the members of Westlife and Boyzone.

The 18-year-old from Mullingar has surpassed all other Irish celebrities in the popularity stakes, with his nearest male pop rival Ronan Keating paling in comparison with 317,000 followers.

Una Healy from the Saturdays, who regularly posts snaps of her baby Aoife and her rugby playing husband Ben Foden on the site, is his next overall rival with 548,000 Twitter fans.

The teen sensation said he was bowled over to wake up yesterday morning to find himself the Irish king of Twitter after watching it hit seven million with his band’s guitarist.

“Wey hey! Just got to 7 million followers! Me and @mrchrisleonard watched it turn to 7mill! Thank you all so much for the support!” said the Mullingar singer.

He is the second most popular member of his record-breaking band with only heartthrob Harry Styles outstripping him with 7.4 million Twitter followers.

The fun-loving Irish popstar has used the site to flirt with American pop princess Demi Lovato and have causal chats with superstars like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

The 18-year-old lives in London but keeps in close contact with a tight group of young Irish stars, including Bressie, TV presenters Laura Whitmore and Amanda Byram, and Voice presenter Eoghan McDermott.

He even told his fans that he had shared Sunday lunch with his famous Irish pals this weekend.

“Ice cream After the Sunday lunch with @nbrez @thewhitmore@eoghanmcdermo,” he tweeted.

The young band’s huge army of Twitter followers is credited with making them the biggest boyband on the planet with their latest single Live While We’re Young smashing more records by shooting straight to No. 1 in the US charts.

Their 33 million cyber fans nicknamed Onedirectioners are said to be driving their extraordinary success around the globe.

The nearest Irish celebrity in Twitter popularity to the down- to-earth Mullingar heart- throb is world No 1 golfer, Rory McIlroy with 1.3m followers.

All the members of Westlife combined fail to even hit the one million mark, with Nicky Byrne attracting the biggest following with 282,000 followed by Shane Filan with 230,000 and their ex-bandmate Brian McFadden with 227,000 while all the members of Boyzone fall just short of half a million followers.

Amazingly, even Niall’s older brother, Greg Horan, has become more popular by association with 390,000 followers.

Voice coach and Script frontman Danny O’Donoghue has shot up to just over half a million followers since becoming a heartthrob on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Many of the biggest celebrities have become huge Twitter fanatics as it gives them a direct voice to the public and their legions of fans. An elite group of celebrities on the social networking site have been dubbed the Big Five as they have all made it to the elusive 20 million mark.

Lady Gaga is the undisputed queen and internet phenomenon with over 30 million, followed by Justin Bieber with over 29 million, Katy Perry with over 27 million and her best pal Rhianna with just over 26 million.

Britney Spears is the final member of the Big Five, hovering just over the 21 million mark after her profile was given a huge boost by her addition to America’s X Factor.

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