Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Call to boycott Daily Mail over 'vile slur' on Gately

Stephen Gately
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
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.
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 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.

More than 1,000 people complained to the Press Complaints Commission yesterday after an article in the Daily Mail newspaper that apparently linked the Boyzone singer's death to his homosexuality.

Columnist Jan Moir argued that the death of Gately, who was in a gay marriage, struck "another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships".



In spite of a coroner's verdict that he had died of natural causes, following a build-up of fluid on his lungs, Moir wrote: "Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one."



Respondents to the Mail's website voiced outrage. One condemned the article as an "odious piece of vile trash"; another said "You should be ashamed of yourself Jan Moir"; "an absolutely revolting article", said another. A minority of correspondents voiced support for Moir's work.



The subject electrified the instant messaging website Twitter, where calls were made for Moir to be sacked, and the social networking site Facebook where a group was founded to plot a boycott on advertising in the Daily Mail.



In an unusual step, Moir yesterday afternoon released a statement explaining and defending her article. She said it was "never my intention" to upset people "particularly in the gay community", but was otherwise largely unapologetic.



She claimed that the scale of the protests was a result of an organised campaign and that it was wrong to accuse her of being prejudiced against gays. "In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones," she said.



In her Mail article, Moir had criticised Gately and his partner Andrew Cowles for inviting a Bulgarian man back to their apartment in Palma, Majorca. "If we are going to be honest, we would have to admit that the circumstances surrounding his death are more than a little sleazy."



Later in her statement, the journalist seemed unrepentant for the comments. "It seems unlikely to me that what took place in the hours immediately preceding Gately's death – out all evening at a nightclub, taking illegal substances, bringing a stranger back to the flat, getting intimate with that stranger – did not have a bearing on his death."



Gately's funeral takes place today in Dublin attended by his former colleagues in Boyzone Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham.



A spokesman for the PCC, the press watchdog, said last night that it was in contact with a Boyzone representative and that if members of Gately's family wished to make a complaint over the Mail article that would take precedence over complaints made by third parties.



In respect of Moir's claim of an "orchestrated internet campaign" against her, he acknowledged that there had been "a concerted number of complaints in a relatively short time".



The offending article: Moir's words



*"Fans know to expect the unexpected of their heroes, particularly if those idols live a life that is shadowed by dark appetites or fractured by private vice."



*"The Gately family are, perhaps understandably, keen to register their boy's demise on the national consciousness as nothing more than a tragic accident."



*"Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one. Let us be absolutely clear about this."



*"If we are going to be honest, we would have to admit that the circumstances surrounding his death are more than a little sleazy."



*"Another real sadness about Gately's death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships."



*"The recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately's last night raise troubling questions about what happened."



*"For once again, under the carapace of glittering hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see."

Source: Independent

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