The weekend is a time of rest. But when you’re in the Eurofandom, it can also be a busy period of being swept up in wild speculation. It’s January. News is slow to drip out. And Lord knows we all spend a great deal of time trying to connect the dots wherever and whenever they appear. It’s fair, it’s fun and it helps pass the time until Eurovision arrives in May.

And so it went on Saturday when Eurofans rushed to suggest that former One Direction singer Niall Horan was headed to the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 for Ireland. The source of this apparent news was a series of screen grabs shared by a user in the ESC Nation forum. The grabs appeared to depict an article from the Irish Mirror web site entitled, “Niall Horan to take on Eurovision as RTÉ set sights high for 2019 contest in Israel.”

One problem: the article is not on the Mirror web site. That led various fan sites to report that the article had been deleted. But deleted articles will still show up in Google’s cache for a certain period of time. This article has not been showing up. At all.

And there’s another issue: The article was timestamped as 23:28, 5 Jan 2019. That’s rather strange given that the grabs appeared in forums and on fan sites several hours before this time. The thinking seemed to go that maybe the article had been leaked or published early. Even so, timestamps are published in real time. They stamp the time.

Closer inspection of the article also shows several grammar and syntax errors that a native English-speaking journalist would likely pick up. It also violates house style rules for the Mirror, such as incorrectly writing “25 year old” rather than “25-year-old.”

There’s also the omission of rather important commas. Surely any journalist or copy editor would know to put commas after Mullingar and One Direction to separate the parenthetical phrase: “The 25 year old from Mullingar who has racked over 70 million in record sales as part of One Direction signed agreements with the national broadcaster yesterday.”

So the screengrabs could be Photoshop fakes. Or maybe they’re real and the article was simply unedited and accidentally published several hours early and then erased from Google’s cache? To many it’s possible.

But enough speculation. We went to Ireland’s Head of Delegation to find out once and for all if Niall Horan has been selected to sing at Eurovision 2019.

Michael Kealy made it clear that RTÉ has not yet finalised its plans for the song contest.

He told Wiwibloggs, “At the moment we are still going through the 430 songs we received, so it’s a bit early to rule anything in or out definitively!”

Kealy also compared the Niall Horan rumour to last year’s rumour, where Johnny Rotten was tipped as Ireland’s act for Lisbon. While the punk legend was revealed to be under consideration, RTÉ did not select him for Eurovision.

What do you make of all this? Do you think the Irish Mirror screengrabs are fake? Do you think that they’re real and the paper is just waiting for the right moment to publish them? Could negotiations for Niall to sing at Eurovision be ongoing? Is RTÉ being cheekily coy? Let us know your thoughts below!

Read more Ireland Eurovision news here

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Jo.
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Jo.

you people are the best, ^^

FanESC
Guest
FanESC

With this answer, It’s clear for me that Niall is involved, just like Johnny Rotten. If this was fake, he just would’ve said “no, he isn’t involved”. It would be so cool to finally see someone internationally famous after Bonnie Tyler and Cascada in 2013.

Ani
Guest

he refrences john lydon who was confirmed to have made the final 10 in irish selection last year which in itself confirms niall is involved ! the extent to that is unsure as although id love if he went to eurovision, it seems too good to be true 🙁

Ron
Guest
Ron

Interesting that Michael Kealy doesn’t fully deny the story. If Niall simply wasn’t involved at all, it wouldn’t take too much effort to clarify that he was not in contention. He mentions the John Lydon rumour from last year but we know for a fact that Lydon actually did enter a song to the competition.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

I suspect RTÉ is just keeping all options open at this stage. Like, what if Niall Horan wasn’t planning on doing Eurovision at all, but after seeing all the fan hype he decides to give it a a go?

Ron
Guest
Ron

Who knows Robyn? I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some element of truth to the story. Niall is said to be a big Eurovision fan and we know from his tweets he is a proud Irishman. What we don’t know though is where the Irish Mirror story came from and whether it was an actual article or a complete hoax.

Ani
Guest

It’s an actual article as the link to the deleted article came straight come from Irish mirror so there was an actual Article posted then deleted

Pancake
Guest
Pancake

I would love for this to happen (even though he’s my pick for the UK and the fact I hate One Direction). But I’m going to address the elephant in the room: this is about as real as Big Foot or Apollo reuniting with Hyacinthus.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

He’s Irish, so why would he be your pick for the UK? Him representing his own country is more likely than him representing them.

Jor4
Guest
Jor4

I’m sure he would prefer to represent the UK than Ireland.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

How ridiculous. How did you reach that conclusion? It seems like you don’t know much about Ireland.

Pancake
Guest
Pancake

I would love for this to happen (even though he’s my pick for the ?? and the fact I hate One Direction). But I’m going to address the elephant in the room: this is about as real as Big Foot or Apollo reuniting with Hyacinthus.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Its fun checking out the odds when news are coming in. Poland to win ESC right now and Ireland in 13th place. I dont know what artist Poland want to send but if they are number one to win maybe its a big one.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Natalia Szroeder and Michal Szpak are rumored

yom124
Guest
yom124

It’s Betfair odds which means they aren’t accurate at all atm. It’s just based on randoms betting money and not any real evidence. Wait until February then we might start getting a decent idea.

florin
Guest
florin

there are better chances to find a1 milion $ on street then see Niail on eurovision

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Zero chances this is going to happen now that his career is thriving.

Ingrossob
Guest
Ingrossob

I will never understand the “no he’s too famous” comments
Just wait and see

Fiore
Guest
Fiore

Well, that’s normal. There’s just no reason why would a famous singer do Eurovision. The singers participate in Eurovision TO GET famous across Europe or in their own countries. So why would famous singers do Eurovision then? I mean what’s the point?

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

National pride? Publicity to promote their latest record? For fun?

Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag
Guest
Oh I've been waiting for this Russian Fla-la-lag

It it is to save their country from flopping hard for years, I’d give them that.

mad-professor
Guest
mad-professor

Because it would cost millions to get him to take part, and RTE can barely afford a national final.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

One of the times that fandom gets on my nerves. Its the type of “bbc should contact adele to represent us” theory

Darren
Guest
Darren

As much as I’d like this to happen, we all know it won’t. Niall is still a big name, I doubt he would do Eurovision just yet, One Direction may have split a few years back now, but Niall has been quite successful in his solo career. Let’s face it, if Niall was selected, I think Ireland would be one of the favorites without even hearing the song, it would probably finish in The Top 10, RTE don’t want that kind of result just Incase Dublin has to host in 2020. They really don’t want that., They were scared when… Read more »

Aisling
Guest
Aisling

If we had Niall, we could be in a chance to win.

Peter M
Guest
Peter M

It wouldn’t surprise me if he sent in a song but I don’t think he’d go as a performer.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I highly doubt that a HoD like this can convince a relevant or relatively relevant or even marginally relevant name to go to Eurovision.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Maybe he doesn’t need to convince him. Niall is proud of being Irish, maybe he wants to represent his country – especially as he was the only non-English person in One Direction, and was often mistaken as British. He’s a laidback guy, he takes fame in his stride – he seems like he wouldn’t give two sh!ts about “credibility”. He has worked with the RTÉ concert orchestra on a TV special, so he has a recent history with the broadcaster. Stranger things have happened.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

But Niall is still very well known… Too well known to be honest, I don’t think a famous person like him will go. Just seems unlikely to me. He has 21 Mio subs on Instagram lol. Not gonna happen imo, but we’ll see…

Dave
Guest
Dave

I don’t know that’s just odd. He’s too famous, why does he need to do Eurovision? I mean it’s too risky for his career because it’s not really easy to get a decent result in Eurovision nowadays. Perhaps they are preparing a VERY good song. *shrugs*

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

That would be amazing, but I dont want to get my hopes up too high. it seems unlikely such a succesfull celebrity would want to do eurovision 🙂

DenizNL
Guest
DenizNL

Would be really cool if Niall went. I think he could do really well.