Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Stephen Gately's funeral to take place by the weekend

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
Eoghan Quigg and Boyzone.

Boyzone members joined with Stephen Gately's family yesterday to organise the singer's funeral which is expected to take place by the weekend.

The band visited the Gately family home and a nearby funeral home after they arrived back from Majorca.

Mikey Graham, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy all left the island late on Monday night but will return back to accompany Mr Gately's body home.

As of last night, Mr Gately’s body was expected to be returned to Ireland on Friday although every effort was being made to bring it back before then.

Yesterday a post-mortem examination confirmed he died of “natural causes by acute pulmonary oedema”.

Mr Gately’s family are anxious to get the body home as quickly as possible and it is understood that the funeral will be held on Friday if his body arrives on Thursday.

Otherwise, the funeral will be held on Saturday with the service taking place in St Laurence O'Toole's Church on Sherriff Street, Dublin, yards from where Mr Gately grew up and near to where his parents live.

“I've spoken to the authorities on the ground in Spain and we're seeing what we can do,” family spokesman Gerald Kean said.

“On behalf of the family, I'd like to add that it's a load off their minds that the results of the autopsy confirmed that Stephen's death was due to natural causes.

“They would also like to thank the thousands of people who have sent messages of support from around Ireland and the world and also Mark Plunkett who is working on their behalf in Spain.”

Earlier, Boyzone manager Louis Walsh publicly spoke at length for the first time about the death.

Mr Walsh said he hoped that a new album recorded by Boyzone would be released and revealed that Mr Gately was close to fulfilling one of his life ambitions — landing a role in the musical ‘Jersey Boys', which is based on 1960s group the Four Seasons, just before he died.

“All Stephen lived for was singing music, be it on the West End, be it in Boyzone, that's all he ever wanted to do. And his big thing was to do ‘Jersey Boys’,” Mr Walsh told RTE Radio.

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