This day ten years ago, October 10 2009, Boyzone’s Stephen Gately passed due to natural causes at just 33 years-old while on holiday in Majorca with his husband, Andrew Cowles.
Gately who came out as gay in 1999, just six years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland, blazed a trail for LGBT+ musicians and artists to follow. During the height of his fame with pop group Boyzone, Gately made the brave decision to tell The Sun; “I’m gay and in love”.
The group were not only bandmates but best friends, and when the news broke of Gately’s untimely passing band members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Steve Lynch, all flew out to Majorca to escort his body back to Ireland with Cowles.
Upon their arrival back home, the band members along with Cowles and family and friends, held an overnight vigil the evening before Gately’s funeral. Fans lined the streets of Dublin in support of the family and friends and to grieve the loss themselves.
Now a decade on from Stephens tragic death, Boyzone’s members have kept the memory of their bandmate and friend alive.
Many took to social media to mark the anniversary of his passing with fellow Boyzone bandmates Ronan Keating posting ten photos of Gately on his Instagram story with the caption “Miss ya bro” and Keith Duffy also penning a touching post about the late singer.
View this post on Instagram
Chance made us Colleagues Love and laughter and fun made us best friends ! I miss you brother 10 years ago today the good lord deemed you to good for this world, He needed an angel in heaven ! Today I celebrate and reminisce all the fun and laughter ups and downs I love you Steo and I pray you continue to look over me ❤️see you down the road Stephanie Xxxx All my love Kitty xxx
Boyzone’s official Instagram page also paid tribute to Gately posting a photo of him with the caption “10” marking the ten years since his passing.
Gately died of pulmonary oedema resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition he had been living with. Following this revelation, Gately’s siblings created a campaign to raise awareness about this condition which tragically took the life of their brother. Following suspicions this might have been a hereditary condition, all siblings underwent tests to determine if they also had the disease.
Unfortunately, Gately’s sister Michelle also has the disorder, but she is on medication to control it. Tony, Gatley’s younger brother, explained the concerns faced by the family saying; “all our kids have to be screened because it could skip a generation. It’s very worrying.” He went on to speak of the importance of the screening process saying; “A simple check-up could have saved Stephen’s life and I would urge everyone to get checked out if they think they might have a problem.”
A memorial mass will be held for Stephen on Sherriff Street in Dublin today in the same church he was laid to rest in 10 years ago, the Laurence O’Toole Church. A spokesperson for the church confirmed the plans to honour the local musician’s memory in a ceremony last night and Gately’s former bandmates are said to appear on UK TV to discuss their late friend.
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