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Boyzone's Keith Duffy: Pain over Stephen Gately death is ‘easing only slowly’

Boyzone's Keith Duffy last night described the pain of struggling to come to terms with the death of his “dear friend” Stephen Gately.

He said he is “coping much better now” and is trying to move forward with his life.

“The first three weeks were very tough and I couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel, but now, things have started to ease. I'm getting back to work and managing to get through the day,” he told the Irish Independent.

Mr Gately died last month on holiday in Majorca, aged 33.

“I'd never experienced losing somebody so close to me, somebody I kind of looked after and was a very dear friend of mine. It's hard to deal with.”

Boyzone split up a number of years ago before reuniting in 2007.

“We're lucky we got back together. . . there was a lot of things to talk about and a lot of things to catch up on and we managed to do that so there's no regrets,” he said.

“There would be massive regrets if Stephen had passed away and I hadn't seen him in a while but we were pretty much living in each other's pockets.”

He was speaking at the launch of The Keith Duffy Masquerade Ball 2009, in aid of Irish Autism Action and the Saplings School for Autism in Rathfarnham, at the Westbury Hotel in Dublin yesterday.

The event is held on Saturday December 5, at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin, with special guests Aslan and Keith Barry. Tickets can be booked by contacting 00353 44 93 31609.

Meanwhile, a €265,000 cheque was presented to Boyzone's Ronan Keating last night on behalf of the Great Garda Run 2009 Chicago marathon initiative.

Up to 150 members of An Garda Siochana participated in the Chicago Marathon last month in aid of The Marie Keating Foundation.

The team personally funded expenses incurred on the trip.

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