SOME 3'000 people lined the streets of Dublin yesterday for the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, who died of natural causes at his Andratx holiday home a week ago.
Among those who attended the funeral were his bandmates Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch who flew to Majorca on Friday to accompany the body home.
At the service, the four paid tribute to the 33-year-old pop star and Keating sang In This Life.
Keating said: I have lost my brother. Life will never be the same. He was a man, a friend, a son, a husband and a hero. Graham said: He brought colour to the band, we are black and white without him. And there was applause as the band's eulogy ended.
Father Declan Blake also paid tribute to Gately, calling him a true gentleman who brought happiness to many, many people.
The church has a capacity of just 550 and was reserved for family, friends and VIPs.
Celebrities there include Boyzone's manager Louis Walsh, members of another Irish boyband Westlife, Sir Elton John's partner David Furnish, former Irish PM Bertie Ahern, Jason Donovan and Vanessa Feltz.
Veteran performer Tony Kenny sung a song called My Son, at the request of Gately's mother Margaret.
Loudspeakers broadcast the ceremony to the packed pavements outside and there was a huge security operation in the area. The four remaining members of Boyzone had spent Friday night in the church with Gately's body.
Speaking to Sky News, Walsh said of Gately: We were best friends, I can't believe Stephen has gone.
He also said: It's a difficult day but we have to celebrate his life.
It was an incredible atmosphere in the church, all his best friends were there, his family were there, it's what he would have wanted. He was just a great person.
Furnish said he and Sir Elton were both heartbroken by the news of Gately's death.
They had introduced the Boyzone star to his partner Andrew Cowles.
Condolences were sent to Gately's family from George Michael and Cheryl Cole, and there were also tributes from U2 and the Beckhams. On Friday night, Gately's grief-stricken bandmates carried his coffin into the church and held an all-night vigil alongside his body during an emotional homecoming to his working-class roots.
The four promised Gately's mother they would stay by his side in St Laurence O'Toole's.
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