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Stephen Gately's family hurt by 'wild' drugs rumours

Published 16/10/2009

Ronan Keating of Boyzone leaves St Laurence O'Toole Parish after speaking with the Priest about the arrangements for the funeral
Ronan Keating of Boyzone leaves St Laurence O'Toole Parish after speaking with the Priest about the arrangements for the funeral
Mikey Graham of Boyzone leaving St Laurence O'Toole Parish church after speaking with the Priest about the arrangements for the funeral of Stephen Gately
Local people begin a clean up operation of St Laurence O'Toole church in Dublin
St Laurence O'Toole church in Dublin where the funeral of Stephen Gately will be held
Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham of Boyzone leaving St Laurence O'Toole Parish church after speaking with the Priest about the arrangements for the funeral
Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham of Boyzone leaving St Laurence O'Toole Parish church after speaking with the Priest about the arrangements for the Funeral of Stephen Gately at the church in Dublin on Saturday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday October 15, 2009. See PA story DEATH Gately. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Keith Duffy of Boyzone leaving St Laurence O'Toole Parish church
Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch of Boyzone leaving St Laurence O'Toole Parish church
Mikey Graham (left) of Boyzone leaving St Laurence O'Toole Parish church with Priest Declan Blake
Ronan Keating of Boyzone chats with St Laurence O'Toole Parish Priest (right) Declan Blake
Mikey Graham of Boyzone chats with Gardai about the arrangements for the funeral
Mikey Graham of Boyzone chats with Gardai about the arrangements for the funeral
Georgi Dochev leaves his flat in Pont D'Inca, Majorca. He was a friend of Boyzone star Stephen Gately who found his body
Andy Cowles, the partner of the late Stephen Gately, leaves the courthouse following a post mortem hearing on October 13, 2009 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Boyzone star, Stephen Gately died on Saturday night aged 33 whilst on holiday in Majorca
The body of Stephen Gately is wheeled into a funeral home in the village of Calvia in Mallorca
Journalists photograph the entrance of the hotel where members of the group Boyzone are staying in Port Andratx in Mallorca
The body of Stephen Gately is wheeled into a funeral home in the village of Calvia in Mallorca
The body of Stephen Gately is wheeled out of a morgue in Palma de Mallorca
Photographers and cameramen surround the car of Andy Cowles, the partner of the late Stephen Gately, leaving the courthouse in Palma de Mallorca, Spain after attending the inquest inquiry
Andy Cowles, the partner of the late Stephen Gately leaves with two unidentified women after viewing the body of Stephen Gately at a funeral home in the village of Calvia in Mallorca
Andy Cowles, the partner of the late Stephen Gately, leaves the courthouse following a post mortem hearing in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, leaves Calvia Cemetery in Majorca after visiting the body of Stephen Gately
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, leaves court in Palma Majorca after hearing the results of the autopsy
5/10/2009 Ronan Keating, his wife Yvonne and Stephen Gately arriving at The Pride of Britain Awards 2009, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, on Saturday afternoon, arrives at the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca, where fellow Boyzone members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch are staying following the death of their fellow band member. Picture date: Monday October 12 2009.
Mikey Graham of Boyzone walks in the grounds of the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately
Shane Lynch (centre) of Boyzone leaves the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately
Mikey Graham (right) of Boyzone and Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, on Saturday afternoon, walk in the grounds of the Mon Port hotel, in Majorca, following his death.
Ronan Keating of Boyzone walks in the grounds of the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately. Monday October 12 2009.
Ronan Keating (right) of Boyzone walks in the grounds of the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately. Picture date: Monday October 12 2009.
Boyzone's Stephen Gately performing on stage at the Big Gig Weekend at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Boyzone (left to right), Shane Lynch, Mikey Graham, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately and Keith Duffy, perform on stage at the Big Gig Weekend at the Bath & West Showground
10/10/1996 Former Take That star Robbie Williams (bottom left) and pop star Peter Andre (bottom centre) join members of the Irish pop band Boyzone (left to right) Stephen Gately, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy (front) and Mikey Graham, for a photocall prior to the 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards in London
8/5/2008 of Boyzone (left to right) Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynchy and Mikey Graham arrive at The Cauldwell Ball at the Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park, London.
12/9/1999 of Cerys Matthews, singer with Welsh pop band Catatonia, and Stephen Gately, member of boy band Boyzone, at the New London Theatre, Dury Lane, in London
5/2/2003 of Stephen Gately and Sinead O'Connor attend a party at The Old Billingsgate Fish Market, London, following Sir Elton's benefit gig at the Old Vic Theatre
26/5/2008 of Boyzone's Stephen Gately in concert at the Odyssey Arena Belfast.Gately
17/2/2003 of Stephen Gately as Joseph and Kay Murphy as Mrs Potiphar during a photocall for the new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London Theatre in Drury Lane
5/7/1998 of The Prince of Wales talking with members of the band Boyzone Party in the Park, in aid of the Prince's Trust.
A cameraman films the house where Irish boy band Boyzone lead singer Stephen Gately died Saturday Oct. 11
Members of the Irish boy band Boyzone, Ronan Keating, left, and Mikey Graham, right, arrive with other members of the group at the Palma de Mallorca airport on Sunday Oct. 11, 2009.
Members of the Irish boy band Boyzone from left to right: Shane Lynch, Ronan Keating and Mikey Graham, arrive at the Palma de Mallorca airport, Spain, on Sunday Oct. 11, 2009.
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, on Saturday afternoon, leaves the Mon Port hotel, in Majorca, where fellow Boyzone members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch were staying following the death of their fellow band member
Stephen Gately
Stephen Gately of Boyzone
Stephen Gately
File photo dated 8/5/2008 of Boyzone (left to right) Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynchy and Mikey Graham arrive at The Cauldwell Ball at the Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park, London. Gately has died at the age of just 33. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday October 11 2009. The Irish pop star and actor was on holiday with his long-term partner in Majorca when he 'tragically died' yesterday, according to the band's tour website. See PA story DEATH Gately. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Boyzone
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
The crowd goes wild for Boyzone as they perform in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.
Boyzone
Jemma Neely and Michele Moffat at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey
Caoimhe Campbell, Lauren Doherty, Meghann McKeever and Hayley Quinnell at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Margret Campbell, Francis Doherty, Maureen McKeever and Clare Campbell at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Jemma Neely and Michele Moffat at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Christine and Nollen Bannon at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Seanan Donnelly, Cara Donnelly and Michelle Corry at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Catherine McVeigh, Nadine Quinn and Aislinn Murray at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Eoghan Quigg and Boyzone.

Stephen Gately's family are "shocked and surprised" by the wild speculation surrounding the cause of his death.

His family have moved to quash the rumours and innuendo, saying: "It's awful, the allegations from suicide, drugs, alcohol poisoning to murder and eight-hour drinking binges."

A post mortem carried out by Spanish authorities confirmed that the Boyzone star died from natural causes, but today there have been unsupported claims that cannabis may have been a factor.

Speaking on behalf of the Gately family, lawyer Gerald Kean said: "It's so hurtful and wrong."

He said that Stephen's parents Martin and Margaret are "shocked and surprised by the amount of groundless speculation around such a tragedy".

He added: "It's also sad that poor Andrew [Stephen's husband] had to issue a statement to explain that their friend [Georgi Dochev] stayed in a spare room."

Mr Kean said that some people were just refusing to accept that the singer's death was a simple tragedy.

"The post mortem results confirmed it, and it was clear from the start, that Stephen died from natural causes.

"His death was not caused by drink, it was not caused by drugs. They didn't contribute to Stephen's death."

The family hope that by outlining their position in such strong terms that speculation will stop.

"The very fact that he [Andrew Cowles] had to clarify they lived in a two-bedroom apartment. It's sad that we find ourselves having to do all this."

He noted that much of the inaccurate reporting has come through the foreign press who were "just looking to fill a void for a few days".

The lawyer described Stephen's parents as "quiet, shy people" who are "trying to come to terms their loss".

"They are very grateful for the support of everybody and have tried to protect their own privacy. They are a private family and are trying to do everything to get over this."

Mr Kean could not say whether their reaction to the "wild speculation will turn to anger later", but he noted: "Andrew is probably as upset as anybody to have to issue a statement like that."

An autopsy revealed that Stephen died as a result of a congenial heart defect that is hereditary on his father's side of the family.

"That should have been it," said Mr Kean, adding: "All they want to do now is give him the send off he would have wanted."

He had been out with his husband Andrew and some friends in a Majorcan nightclub before falling asleep on the couch of their home and never waking up.

Mr Kean also noted that the four remaining members of Boyzone have been a tower of strength for the family.

They will fly back to Majorca today to accompany Stephen on his family journey to Dublin.

In a glowing tribute, Mr Kean said: "Andrew, the Gately family and myself want to say how honoured and happy we are that Ronan, Keith, Mikey and Shane are playing such an important role in the entire process.

"They are helping to ensure things happen in a fashion that Stephen, himself, would want.

"They are four wonderful friends and young men. They have been incredible ambassadors for Ireland abroad and Stephen was the same.

"The four reflect all the great virtues of Stephen Gately."

Belfast Telegraph

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