Ronan Keating makes emotional tribute ahead of Stephen Gately's funeral
Today, Ronan Keating spoke publicly for the first time since Stephen Gately’s death, as he prepared to accompany his bandmate’s body home ahead of Saturday’s funeral.
Keating and fellow Boyzone members, Shane Lynch, Mikey Graham and Keith Duffy flew out to Majorca today to accompany Gately’s body back to Ireland, and are expected to keep an overnight vigil at the Dublin church where the service will take place tomorrow.
Reading from a statement, Keating faced the press and thanked fans for their support. He stated: ‘Last Saturday our world changed forever when we lost our friend and brother Stephen.
‘What the future holds for the four of us is too hard to think about. We know that nothing will ever be the same without our dear friend Stephen. Farewell brother.’
He also revealed a new tattoo tribute, an inscription reading ‘76-09′ on his bicep – Gately’s years of birth and death.
The four grieving Boyzone members will play an integral role in tomorrow’s ceremony, carrying the casket alongside Stephen’s family members, and singing during the service.
The congregation is expected to include many mourners from the entertainment industry, including Louis Walsh, Sir Elton John and members of Take That.