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Family wants Gately statue at Point Village

A STEPHEN Gately statue could be erected in the Point Village after his family objected to the original location.

Independent councillor Christy Burke, who first proposed the memorial, said Stephen's mother Margaret was not in favour of locating the sculpture at the Spencer Dock train station.

"His mother doesn't want it there as it's very isolated. I was down there at Spencer Dock and no one was coming in or out," Mr Burke told the Herald.

He said there are lots of people around the Point Village "day and night".

Mr Burke had originally proposed the station to Dublin City Council but has now changed his mind. He said he is going to write to businessman Harry Crosbie, who owns the Docklands' Point Village complex, to request his support for the new plan.

"The Point Village is the most fitting place for Stephen. He would have played there and it's only a stone's throw from where he lived," Mr Burke added.

A spokeswoman for Boyzone said the band would "absolutely" support the Gately family's request.

"Anything first of all that is a tribute to Stephen will get their absolute support," she told the Herald, adding the band would back "whatever the family's wishes are".

Stephen, who shot to fame in the 1990s with Boyzone, died at the age of 33 last October while on holiday with his husband Andrew Cowles in the Spanish island of Majorca.

His funeral was attended by family and close friends, with more than 3,500 fans listening to the service on speakers outside St Laurence O'Toole's Church in Dublin 1.

His Boyzone bandmates -- Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch -- will commission the statue.

If the new location is viable, the sculpture is expected to be erected and unveiled on March 17 to mark what would have been the star's 35th birthday.

Iarnrod Eireann had expressed a willingness to facilitate the statue but it now appears it will not be called on to help.

However, it had turned down a request to rename the station after Stephen.

The rail body restricts the naming of stations to their geographical location.This policy was developed on the back of repeated requests to rename stations after celebrities and other well-known figures.

comurphy@herald.ie