Stars gather at Gately funeral

Hundreds of fans, family members and celebrities have gathered at the funeral of former Boyzone star Stephen Gately in Dublin.

The four remaining members of Boyzone – Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham, Shane Lynch and Keith Duffy – were among mourners at St Laurence O’Toole’s church in the Irish capital, as well as the band’s manager, X Factor judge Louis Walsh.

Members of Westlife, Jason Donovan, Sir Elton John’s partner David Furnish and former X Factor winner Shayne Ward were also among those joining members of Gately’s family, his partner Andy Cowles, and fans who had travelled to the church from all over the world.

Around 3,000 people – from as far afield as Taiwan – gathered in the street outside for the funeral service which was broadcast on loudspeakers.

Boyzone performed the Westlife track In This Life at the service, as well as paying individual tributes to Gately.

“I have lost my brother,” said Keating as he choked back tears. “Life will never be the same. He was a man, a friend, a son, a husband and a hero.”

Graham added, “He brought colour to the band, we are black and white without him.”

Father Declan Blake, who conducted the service, described Gately as a “true gentleman who brought happiness to many many people”.

Walsh – who will miss this weekend’s X Factor shows – was greeted by cheering fans as he arrived at the church.

“He would not believe the reception he’s got today. He was living his dream,” he said of Gately.

“It’s a fantastic feeling here today – we have to celebrate his life, he would absolutely love what was happening here today.

“He was always professional, he was so likeable. I wouldn’t be where I was today if it wasn’t for Boyzone. We’re all in this together.”

Gately died last weekend aged 33 while on holiday in Majorca with Cowles. A post-mortem later revealed that he died of natural causes.

The remaning members of Boyzone brought his body back to Ireland on Friday, with relatives and close friends paying tribute at a private service on Friday night.

The rest of the band spent the night in the church alongside Gately’s coffin.

The singer will be cremated in a private ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery before 450 guests attend a funeral party in the city.