Sunday 17 December 2017

Big turnout set for Stephen's anniversary Mass

STEPHEN Gately's family and friends will gather in Dublin in an emotional ceremony to mark the first anniversary of his death.

The Mass takes place in St Laurence O'Toole's Church, Seville Place, Dublin -- where Stephen's funeral took place last year -- on Sunday, October 10, at 1.30pm.

His former bandmate Keith Duffy and solicitor Gerald Kean will attend the ceremony.

One source told the Herald: "I'm sworn to secrecy on it. But it will be a nice ceremony."

Fellow band members Ronan Keating, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch plan to be in Australia, where they will perform a special song to mark the anniversary. But locals from Sheriff Street, where Stephen was from, have been invited to the Mass, and one close family friend told the Herald that a big turn-out was expected.

He said: "It'll be an anniversary Mass and I'd imagine it'll be fairly well attended. I'm invited on behalf of the family, but I'd imagine there'll be a few faces there.

"I was talking to a few of the locals last night, and they said they're going to the Mass as well. "

Keith Duffy announced last month that the ceremony would be held "in one of [Stephen's] favourite places." Stephen's ashes will also be scattered on the first anniversary, but sources remained tightlipped on where this will be taking place.

Sources have also denied that the anniversary Mass will be a high-profile event, in keeping with his parents' wishes.


"His mother and father are very humble people. They just want the Mass for his anniversary, and that's it.

"Even when he died, his mother Margaret was hiding upstairs in a room because Sky was outside with cameras and with ladders. She couldn't understand it, and she was saying, 'why are they here?'" Stephen, who shot to fame in 1993 when he joined Boyzone, died at the age of 33 last October while on holiday with his husband Andrew Cowles in Majorca.

X Factor bosses in Australia are funding an emotional Boyzone reunion. Producers have paid for Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch to fly Down Under this week to perform with bandmate Ronan Keating for the first time in six months.

The trio are due to sing in Stephen's honour on the show next Monday, a day after the anniversary of his tragic death.

Keith was unable to travel due to his commitments with Coronation Street but will be representing the band at the Mass.

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