The “X Factor UK” 2016 returned to Ireland and likely struck gold with another Irish singer.

The “X Factor UK” judges landed in Dublin with high hopes of finding outstanding performers. Their last visit to Ireland in 2010 uncovered One Direction star Niall Horan from a host of hopefuls. At present, the Irishman is preoccupied with golf during the boyband’s hiatus. Horan even took part in the Irish Open 2016. Yet One Direction fans need not worry, as music doesn’t seem to be far behind in his heart. Sources revealed he could be the first member to release a solo album by 2017.

Returning judge Louis Walsh expressed hopes for the Dublin auditions, according to The Irish Sun. He revealed their interest to find singers with good personalities on and off the stage. The Irishman also noted the wealth of talent in his home country.

“I’m always saying to Simon that if you want to see real talent, come to Ireland. We’re looking for two or three great people. We need somebody to represent Ireland and be very good. They need to be interesting too and stand out. This is a huge platform for someone to go along and get a record deal. I don’t care who it is as long as they’re good. I don’t care if it’s an over-25, a group, a boy or a girl. As long as they’re really good and prepared to work hard, that’s the main thing,” Walsh said.

The Celtic gods must have heard his wish and bestowed upon “X Factor UK” an audition from Mark Irwin. The Mullingar native, who is a close friend of Niall Horan, wowed the judges with his performance. According to Goss, Irwin stood out among the performers who came to perform at Croke Park. Irwin received advice from his good pal Horan, who also wished him well for the auditions, the publication revealed.

Irwin is presently under Infinity Artists Management. He earned a Diploma in Musical Theater from The London School of Musical Theater care of an Andrew Lloyd Webber Scholarship. Before the “X Factor UK,” he’s appeared at the St. Leonard’s and The Palace Theatre, London. Listen to “Danny Boy” as sang by Mark Irwin.