Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Boyzone return home with body of ‘dearest friend’ Stephen Gately

Members of Boyzone (from left) Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch make a statement outside Majorca Airport as Stephen Gately's  body is placed in to the hold of a plane which will fly to Dublin ahead of his funeral on Saturday.
Members of Boyzone (from left) Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch make a statement outside Majorca Airport as Stephen Gately's body is placed in to the hold of a plane which will fly to Dublin ahead of his funeral on Saturday.
Members of Boyzone Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch make a statement outside Majorca Airport as Stephen Gately's body is placed in to the hold of a plane which will fly to Dublin
Close up of the tattoo on Ronan Keating's arm showing the number "76 09" as a tribute to his fellow band mate Stephen Gately
Ronan Keating makes a statement outside Majorca Airport
Stephen Gately's body is placed in to the hold of a plane bound for Dublin
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
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
Ronan Keating of Boyzone leaves St Laurence O'Toole Parish after speaking with the Priest about the arrangements for the funeral
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 grief-stricken Boyzone bandmates returned to the Republic of Ireland yesterday with the body of their best friend.

The devastated group arrived in Dublin Airport as family, close friends and heartbroken parents, Martin and Margaret, prepared to pay their respects.

Gately's body was due to be taken to Jennings Funeral Directors less than a mile from where he was brought up in the north inner city.

Relatives have planned a private prayer vigil with the four Boyzone members also expected to hold an overnight wake.

The funeral is to take place at St Laurence O'Toole's Church at midday today.

Before leaving Majorca Ronan Keating stood arm in arm with Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy and said they were truly overwhelmed at the support they have received in the last week.

It was the first time they have spoken publicly since the 33-year-old singer's death.

“Stephen and Andrew (Gately's partner Andrew Cowles) had chosen to make Majorca their second home and we know that Stephen loved the times they spent together here,” Keating said.

“The countless messages of love and support we have received this week have truly overwhelmed ourselves and the Gately family. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for each and every one of them.”

Gately, who died last Saturday after a night out on the Spanish holiday island, was brought back to the Republic on a private plane along with the remaining Boyzone members and the West End star's civil partner.

They are expected to sing at the funeral mass.

Reading a statement and flanked by his bandmates, Keating said their world had changed forever with Stephen's death.

“Stephen lived to perform and truly loved being centre stage,” he said. “You can be sure he's looking down on us now wishing we'd move over so he could flash his smile for the cameras one more time.

“What the future holds for the four of us now is too hard to even think about.

“But we know that nothing will ever be the same without our dearest friend, Stephen... rest in peace, brother.”

Meanwhile, friends and neighbours in Dublin, still stunned at the singer's sudden death, have been cleaning the church, its grounds and surrounding area to make the terrace street shine for the return of their son.

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