A proposed museum to celebrate Niall Horan and Joe Dolan has received a lukewarm reception from Mullingar Area councillors.
But Fianna Fail’s Aidan Davitt said he won’t let that deter him from ensuring that Mullingar pays the tribute to the men who put the town on the map.
At the Mullingar local area meeting this week, Cllr Davitt proposed that when Mullingar Town Council is abolished in May, Market House should be turned into a museum to celebrate the local heroes.
Several councillors commented on the proposal, with Cllr Fintan Cooney preferring Market House as an art gallery and saying that any museum should celebrate Ailish Tynan.
Cllr Dollard insisted that all art exhibitions should be nearer to County Buildings.
None of Cllr Davitt’s colleagues seconded the motion, even though he reminded them that Niall Horan has one of the world’s largest Twitter followings.
Speaking after the meeting Cllr Davitt said Niall is a great supporter of Mullingar and talks fondly of his home town and county.
He said he spoke to Niall about the museum proposal a year ago.
“It’s fair to say that Niall certainly is a supporter,” Mr Davitt who admits that he’s “an extreme admirer of Niall”.
A lot of people are already coming to Mullingar to see where Niall is from, he said.
“If we had a centre and something to base it around, we’d certainly get a hell of a lot more visitors,” he said, adding that Niall is particularly popular in America.
“He is by far and away the one they want to talk to an interview,” Cllr Davitt said.
“He has that Mullingar come-all-ye and we are certainly very proud of him here and would like to be associated with him as much as possible,” he said.
Cllr Davitt said he hadn’t broached the issue of funding with Niall, whose personal worth is estimated in the region of £5m sterling.
“We didn’t get that heavy into it. I wouldn’t like to take money out of anyone’s pocket,” the councillor said.
In its written reply Westmeath County Council said it is looking at proposals for Market House but indicated that it would have to be adapted for wheelchair accessibility.
It’s the second time the councillor has put the proposal to his colleagues and the second time they’ve turned it down.
“We’re just going to have to work hard and push it on,” Cllr Davitt said, adding that the people he has spoken to in Mullingar about it are positive and excited.
“People will have to canvas their councillors about what they want,” he said.