LURGAN teenager Maria McCallion and her friends have been devoted fans of boyband JLS since the lads first burst onto the television screens as X-Factor contestants four years ago, and have followed them all over the UK and Ireland. But they had never had the opportunity to have a private audience with their idols when their dream came true earlier this month.
Maria (18), who is a wheelchair user, met her boyband heroes at a special VIP event at Vanity Nightclub in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan recently.
The young woman travelled to the venue with her friends, Michaela (15) and thirteen-year-old Rebecca. The trio were accompanied by Michaela’s mum, Maria McMullan, whom the girls have to thank for the popstar experience after she entered the nightclub’s VIP competition.
Mrs McMullan told the ‘MAIL’: “When I got the phone call from Bernadette at Vanity I was delighted. Michaela and Maria have been friends since meeting through a JLS Facebook page and Maria has always said that she wanted to JLS - all three are huge JLS fans.”
On the night, JLS - whose members are Aston Merrygold, Oritsé Williams, J.B. Gill and Marvin Humes - made a beeline to the table where 18-year-old Maria and her friends were sitting. “The VIP part was originally upstairs (in the club) but the guys were made aware beforehand that Maria was in a wheelchair so on the night they came down the stairs and came straight over to us.
“The lads spent quite some time with the girls, and were truly gracious with their time, signing autographs and chatting for what seemed like ages.”
The girls were beyond ecstatic to have met their heroes, and in true boyband fan devotion all three have their favourites; Maria’s is Oritsé, Michaela loves Aston while Marvin is Rebecca’s choice.
Continued Maria: “The folks at Vanity were true dream-makers in making all the girls’ dreams come true. They had wanted to meet the boys for many years. The girls travel everywhere to see the lads, Including Belfast and London this year, and are for Belfast again next week (at the Cool FM Jingle Ball) were they have front row seats.
“Bernadette and Seamus at Vanity really went the extra mile in accommodating Maria’s needs, and ensured that they had a very special private audience with their idols. They managed to give the girls one very special memory which they will keep always!