Sky News love an ole funeral, don't they? Shame they're not too hot with the filler, though, especially considering they've solidly devoted the last three hours to covering Stephen Gately's funeral (outside the church. The family requested that no cameras be permitted inside). Apologies, but there's only so many repeated photo montages, stories of Boyzone's formation/break up/reunion/new tattoos, and close ups of mourners captured on camera, only to have their thoughts shattered by mobiles, someone on the other end saying "yer on the telly!" one hack can take. I'm sure the good residents of Sheriff Street could also do without such lines as "About 3,000 people filled the streets around St. Laurence O'Toole church in the rough, crime-ridden area where Gately grew up."
In saying that, there were some emotional moments that only the most stony of hearts could deny. Ronan Keating's eulogy being one of them: "Steo loved to laugh, and boy did we laugh. If he was here now, he'd say: 'Ro, I'm looking for a stained glass window, if you see one, let me know.' And he had nicknames for all of us: Keith was Kitty, Shane was Shaneese, Mickey was Michaela. And I was Rosalene, of course. And he was Stephanie... We were the campest straight band we knew. Except for one fellah, he knows who he is. The thing is, he thought he was the best camper in the band, only he wasn't. Isn't that right, Duster?" One can only assume he was looking at Keith Duffy at the time.
Ronan then mentioned how Stephen was excited about the material for 'the new Boyzone studio album' and how friends and family would no doubt write the last few incomplete pages of the singer's childrens book. Cynicism aside, however, there wasn't a dry eye in earshot when Ronan finished with "The perfect angel. Forever young, he will never be forgotten. We've lost a brother, and I've lost my wing man... Life will never be the same... He was a man, a friend, a son, a brother, a husband and a hero."
A stirring rendition of The Blue Nile's 'Happiness' was sung by Ronan (he also sang In This Life during the eucharist), before Gately's coffin was carried out of the church by his bandmates. It then went on its way to Glasnevin crematorium. There will be a private ceremony, and a wake in a Dublin hotel this evening, which will be attended by Louis Walsh, Westlife, David Furnish, Jason Donovan, Shayne Ward and... Vanessa Feltz.