Belfast Telegraph

Numb and griefstricken: Stephen Gately's husband flees paradise home

By Edel Kennedy in Majorca

His face said it all. Yesterday Andrew Cowles looked numb with grief as the reality of his husband's death sunk in.

Sinking back into the seat of the car, he tried to turn away from the flashes of the cameras as he fled to the comfort of friends.

His husband Stephen Gately had spent years recording, singing and touring with his Irish bandmates and yesterday Andrew turned to them for help to cope with his grief.

Just 48 hours before he had discovered his partner lying dead in their paradise home in Majorca after a night out, and had frantically tried to resuscitate him.

The couple had bought the home a number of years ago and recently renovated it in the hope of spending more time there.

But yesterday Andrew fled the apartment where he and the former Boyzone singer had shared many happy holidays together.

Last night the shutters on the windows were pulled and the apartment was empty after Andrew -- who had been married to Stephen for three years -- left.

The couple had proudly shared a nameplate outside the plush complex, "Andrew A Cowles and Stephen P Gately" it stated.

The home overlooks a stunning bay near the seaside village of Port Andtrax and the couple often holidayed there together. The quiet area was the perfect place for Stephen to write and he was working on a children's book at the time of his death.

He was also preparing to go back on the road with his beloved Boyzone and the sunny apartment was the prefect retreat to escape the celebrity lifestyle and work on his music and writing.

But it now holds too many painful memories and yesterday afternoon Andrew arrived at the Mon Port Hotel where the four remaining members of Boyzone were staying.

His face was numb as he was pictured arriving with a female friend in the afternoon.

Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham had been staying at the four-star hotel in Port Andtrax after flying to the island.

They had all immediately boarded a private jet, along with their road manager Mark Plunkett, after hearing about Stephen's sudden death at the weekend.

The singers refused to speak to the media yesterday and sources said they broke down "a number of times" during the day.

During the afternoon they stayed in their rooms in the luxury hotel and used the service entrances to enter and leave the hotel and to avoid the waiting cameras.

In the afternoon a black people-carrier left the hotel and collected Andrew from his beachside home, bringing him to the hotel to join the band members.

They spent a number of hours together in the hotel before they decided to leave and return to Ireland.

Last night the group left the island paradise with heavy hearts as they began to help make preparations for the funeral of the 33-year-old singer.

It had been widely acknowledged that Stephen was the band member who had been most disappointed by Boyzone's split -- and he was the most excited about their reunion.

They had expected that the next reunion of the five singers would be at their 2010 tour -- but now they will be going on the road without one of the original members, the one they all called "a true gentleman".

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph