Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Boyzone pay emotional tribute to Gately

A mourner at the funeral of Stephen Gately
A mourner at the funeral of Stephen Gately
Jason Donovan looks at a tribute as he arrives at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin for the funeral of Stephen Gately
Keith Duffy (right) at the funeral of Stephen Gately
Boyzone members Ronan Keating (front left), Mikey Graham (front right) and Shane Lynch (back right) carry the coffin of Stephen Gately outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
The coffin is carried out after the funeral of Stephen Gately by members of Boyzone, including Ronan Keating (front left), Mikey Graham (front right), Shane Lynch (rear right) at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Margaret Gately comforts her husband Martin outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Margaret Gately comforts her husband Martin outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Martin Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin during the funeral of his son Stephen
Brian McFadden smokes a cigarette outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin following the funeral of Stephen Gately
Boyzone members carry the coffin of Stephen Gately outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Boyzone members and family gather round the hearse carrying the coffin of Stephen Gately outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Locals watch from a window outside the funeral of Stephen Gatley at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch carry out the coffin after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch carry out the coffin after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch carry out the coffin after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch carry out the coffin after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch carry out the coffin after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy look on as the coffin is loaded into the hearse after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy look on as the coffin is loaded into the hearse after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Andrew Cowles is comforted by friends as he attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch carry out the coffin after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch carry out the coffin after the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Guests arrive at the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Ronan Keating attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Boyzone's Shane Lynch attends the funeral of Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Boyzone's Mikey Graham attends the funeral of Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Kian Egan of Westlife attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Men carry flowers given by Elton John to the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Andrew Cowles is comforted by friends as he attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Brian McFadden attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately
David Furnish attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Louis Walsh attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Keith Duffy attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin
Margaret Gately arrives for the funeral of her son Stephen at St Laurence O'Toole church in Dublin
Jason Donovan arrives at the funeral of Stephen Gately
Singer Shane Ward arrives at Stephen Gately's funeral
Fans display tributes outside St Laurence O'Toole Church as Boyzone members, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham visit the body of their fellow band member Stephen Gately in Dublin
Stephen's father, Martin Gately arrives at Jenning's Funeral before heading to a private service and overnight vigil at St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin

Stephen Gately's distraught bandmates broke down today as they paid tribute to the singer, describing him as a giant of a man and now the perfect angel.

Boyzone's Ronan Keating sobbed as he told Gately's funeral Mass in Dublin that the world had lost one of its greatest stars.

In an emotional eulogy that brought tears to the eyes of thousands of fans outside, Keating cried as he said the popstar had found perfect peace.

"We have lost our brother and I've lost my wing man," said Keating.

"He will live on in our songs and whenever us four are together his spirit is alive.

"For Stephen we'll carry on, but it will never be the same without him.

"A beautiful man who is now the perfect angel. Forever young and never forgotten."

Keating and the remaining bandmates Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy joined family, neighbours and celebrity friends for the emotional farewell in St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin's north inner city.

Gately's heartbroken parents Margaret and Martin, siblings Mark, Alan, Tony and Michelle and his partner Andrew Cowles hugged and supported each other as they left the chapel.

A pair of rosary beads which Lynch wore into the church around his neck were placed on Gately's coffin as the tearful band members carried their friend out of the church.

Around 3,500 fans listened outside as Keating, Duffy and Graham remembered their friend.

Duffy told mourners Gately was concerned about his height when he joined the boyband 16 years ago.

"But he was a giant of a man in our hearts," he said.

"He was a true performer, full of life and spirit. A true friend, full of love and friendship. Believing in joy, compassion, love and equality."

Graham recalled Gately's love of his partner and his family.

"Stephen's love for Andrew was true and only last week he told me how lucky he felt to have him by his side," he said.

"But Steo always kept in touch with his family at home in Dublin, making frequent trips home to see his Mam and Dad, sister Michelle and her family and his brothers Tony, Mark and Alan and their families."

Famous faces at the popstar's funeral included Boyzone creator Louis Walsh, Westlife, Brian McFadden and X Factor winner Shane Ward.

Singers Sharon Corr, Jason Donovan and Brian Kennedy joined actor Chris Bisson and TV personalities Vanessa Feltz and Gillian McKeith.

Elton John, who is on tour, sent a large bouquet of yellow flowers laid outside the church. Messages of condolence were received from George Michael, David and Victoria Beckham, Simon Cowell, Take That, U2, Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole, Sharon Osborne and Colin Farrell, whose brother Eamon and partner Steve Mannion attended.

But the Gately family remained true to their faith and working class roots, with scores of close friends and neighbours invited to attend the poignant church service.

The inside of the chapel was adorned with pictures of Gately through the years, as well as his favourite picture with Boyzone.

Lilies were also hung on every aisle.

Friends and relations read in the chapel and carried gifts which were brought to the altar in memory of their favourite son.

A Mickey Mouse teddy was brought because Gately loved Disney and "believed in fairy tales", the congregation was told.

A microphone was a symbol of his beautiful voice, moisturiser because of his love of beauty products and his favourite flower, a lily.

A top hat and menu from his wedding day showed his devotion for Mr Cowles and a card was hand-made by Boyzone's children because Gately loved kids.

His passion for music was also remembered throughout the service, with songs and hymns performed former Dublin showband singer Tony Kenny and Gardiner St Gospel Choir.

Keating sung In This Life in memory of his friend, with the group's musician Jo Garland performing At Last, made famous by Blues singer Etta James.

Keating said the late singer was a man, a friend, a brother, a son, a husband and a hero.

"I'm going to really miss you brother," he cried.

"We love you. We always will.

"We know you have found peace. Perfect Peace."

As service ended, Keating sang Happiness before the devastated band members carried the coffin from the church.

Gately's body, wearing a black suit, black tie and white shirt, as requested by his mother, was later cremated during a private service in Glasnevin Cemetery.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz