Niall Horan made a sick girl’s dreams come true when he surprised her with a private audience before One Direction’s final Croke Park gig on Sunday.
Leah Hession, six, is the only girl in Ireland battling a rare form of kidney cancer and has reached an advanced stage of the disease.
Last Monday, the child finished radiotherapy for extreme pain which had prevented her from walking.
Leah’s parents Lorraine and Graham feared their daughter would never get to see the pop idols in Dublin but her treat was beyond their wildest dreams.
The girl’s magical night began after her mum asked kids’ cancer charity Aoibheann’s Pink Tie if they could help get Leah to the gig.
The charity booked a room for Leah and Lorraine at Dunboyne Castle Hotel, Co Meath, and arranged for gardai to give them an escort into Croke Park.
And Niall, 20, popped up to the stadium’s Presidential Suite and gave Leah a massive hug.
Still ecstatic at her home in Ballyglunin, Co Galway, she said: “He was awesome. I love him.”
Lorraine and Leah were brought through the VIP entrance to Croke Park and shown into a room for dignitaries. And minutes later they couldn’t believe their eyes when Gotta Be You singer Niall, from Co Westmeath, embraced the child.
Lorraine revealed: “Leah kept saying Mum it can’t get any better but it did thanks to the gardai and APT.
“I didn’t know about it. We were in the room a few minutes and then Niall walked in.
“He was on his own and didn’t have security or an entourage.
“He must have spent five minutes with us and he 100% made the effort with Leah.
“He was so kind and generous and hugged her and signed all of her memorabilia. Leah keeps asking was it a dream. This has given us precious memories that will be with us for ever.”
APT co-founder Mick Rochford said the 1D star was “thoughtful and an absolute gentleman”.
He added: “He has given Leah special memories that are deserving of a very special girl who has been through so much and is still smiling.
“Gardai played a pivotal role in helping us in Aoibheann’s Pink Tie make Leah’s dream come true.”
Lorraine also thanked the “amazing” officers, who gave Leah a medal for bravery, for going “above and beyond the call of duty”.
To show his support for the charity, Niall wore an APT wristband before he joined the rest of his band for their third sold-out Dublin concert.