Ronan Keating and Boyzone bandmates stayed with Stephen Gately's coffin night before funeral

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·3 mins read
DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 17:  Ronan Keating attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church on October 17, 2009 in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish singer was found dead at his holiday home in Palma, Majorca last Saturday. A post-mortem has found the singer suffered a pulmonary oedema.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Ronan Keating attends the funeral of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately at St Laurence O'Toole Church on October 17, 2009 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Ronan Keating has revealed he and his fellow Boyzone bandmates slept in the church with Stephen Gately the night before the tragic star’s funeral.

Gately died unexpectedly in 2009 and Keating spoke recently to mark the anniversary of his pal’s death and told of the "beautiful, amazing experience" he and Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham shared.

Keating told Sky News: "The four of us decided to stay with him on the Friday night in the church.

Read more: Boyzone's Shane Lynch splits from wife under pressure of lockdown

"All of us are so happy that we did it. It was our last night together as a five piece, our last real night together.

"We cried and we laughed and we could hear him telling us jokes and we could hear him answering back.

Boyzone members Ronan Keating (front left), Mikey Graham (front right) and Shane Lynch (back right) carry the coffin of Stephen Gately outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin where his funeral has been taking place.   (Photo by Julien Behal/PA Images via Getty Images)
Ronan Keating (front left), Mikey Graham (front right) and Shane Lynch (back right) carry the coffin of Stephen Gately outside St Laurence O'Toole Church in Dublin. (Photo by Julien Behal/PA Images via Getty Images)

"We didn't get much sleep, a little bit, but that's not what it was about, it was just about spending time with Steo and we knew Steo well; he didn't like the dark, he didn't like being on his own.

"Yes, we had a nice time, the five of us. We toasted and we had a drink and it was our way of saying goodbye, it was our way of dealing with it."

Irish boy band Boyzone, circa 1995. Clockwise from top left: Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating Stephen Gately (1976 - 2009) and Shane Lynch. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)
Irish boy band Boyzone, circa 1995. Clockwise from top left: Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating Stephen Gately (1976 - 2009) and Shane Lynch. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)

Saturday (10 October) marked 11 years since Gately was found dead at his holiday home in Mallorca following an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.

Keating, Lynch, Duffy and Graham all took to social media to mark the anniversary.

Read more: Ronan Keating and wife Storm welcome baby daughter to family

Keating posted an image of him and Gately on Instagram with the caption: “This was us as I remember and always want to. 11 years has zipped by and it’s still as hard as ever to not have you in all our lives.

“Miss you brother. Miss your laugh miss your sense of humour. Miss your strops miss your high kicks miss the bones of ya. I know you are still smiling straw balls. God Bless.”

Graham posted an image with the words “Never stop missing ya kid” while Lynch posted a photo of him and Gately with the simple caption “brother”.

Duffy also posted an image of him and Gately, writing: “11 years an Angel ! Love ya miss ya.”

Watch: Ronan Keating on listening to songs written for Stephen Gately