FORMER ONE Direction star and all-round legend Niall Horan has been thanked for his generous donation of €100,000 to nursing homes across Ireland.
The Mullingar native donated the whopping amount of money to Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE) to buy electronic tablets so residents of nursing homes could keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.
For three months, residents were separated from their loved ones as severe visiting restrictions were put in place to protect the elderly and vulnerable, and it was an unspeakably difficult time for many.
However, thanks to Niall's donation, thousands of nursing home residents were gifted with tablets which allowed them to speak to their family and friends safely and as often as they liked.
The Slow Hands singer was inspired to make the donation after his cousins, Patricia and Caroline, sent him a photo of them talking on the phone to their grandmother outside her window and then taught her how to use Face Time to make the social-distanced visits easier.
Niall said, “So many elderly people are feeling vulnerable and isolated now more than ever.
"Thousands of families have needed to be pulled apart, including my own.
"Not only does this initiative bring them back together, face to face in the short term, it’s a positive development for the future too.
Thank you to the HSE for getting this off the ground. I’m very proud to work with them on it.”
The HSE has personally thanked Niall for his contribution, with one nursing home based in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, releasing a video which shows first-hand the positive effect that the tablets can have on residents and their loved ones.
Paul Reid, CEO of the HSE, said "I’ve been using video apps to keep in touch with my granddaughter so I know first-hand the impact Niall’s generous offer will have.
"Niall’s contribution is also special as it will be used long after we emerge from Covid-19.”