By Sarah Slater
Boyzone’s Keith Duffy says he is “blown away” following news that Dublin City Councillors unanimously passed a motion to rename a park after Boyzone’s Stephen Gately who died almost 11 years ago.
The six hectare Royal Canal Linear Park Linear Park, opened 10 years and which runs alongside Spencer Dock, is to be renamed after the 33-year-old as he hailed from the area.
Gately, died on October 10, 2009 at his holiday home in Majorca, at the height of his fame with the international chart-topping boy-band.
The name change was proposed by Independent councillors Christy Burke and Anthony Flynn at today’s (Tuesday) Central Area Committee zoom meeting.
His mother Margaret, still lives in Sheriff Street where the late singer grew-up. His father Martin died three years ago.
Cllr Burke confirmed that the motion was passed unanimously and will now go before the City Council in the coming days.
“I’m sure Stephen’s mother Margaret will be delighted to hear that the motion is passed and that her son’s memory will live on by the renaming of the park. It’s only fitting that it is called after him as he never forgot his roots.
“Stephen meant so much to the people of the area. He was a local lad made big and he never forgot that. Cllr Flynn and I are delighted that our colleagues understood how his legacy should be marked.
Earlier this week Stephen’s mother gave her blessing for the Park to be renamed after her son. She said she would love if that happened and would be so proud.
Cllr Flynn added: “(This) is a fantastic tribute to Stephen.”
Band members Keith Duffy were thrilled to hear of the news of the proposal to rename Linear Park after their close friend.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio One on the Ray D’arcy show said: I’m absolutely blown away. I’m delighted. He died way too young. I was so devastated to loose him. It’s lovely to see. I do my best to keep his memory alive.
“To put his name forward for this it’s such a great honour. I’m delighted for his mother Margaret, his family and Sheriff St. To have the last two years, when we reunited as a group, were great to have with Steo. I miss him dearly and my kids miss him dearly.
The hairs are standing up on the back of my neck. I’m blown away. What a beautiful way to remember the legend of Stephen Gately.
Another band member, Ronan Keating tweeted, “Thank you, thank you. This is amazing news.”
Gately and his partner, internet mogul Andrew Cowles, had just arrived at their €1.2 million apartment in the upmarket Majorca resort of Port d’Andratx, for a month-long working holiday when he suddenly died.
A post mortem examination found that the singer died from natural causes and suffered acute pulmonary oedema – or fluid on the lungs – caused by an undiagnosed heart condition.
The Sheriff St native was also an actor, children’s writer, and dancer, who, with Ronan Keating, was co-lead singer of the band. All of Boyzone’s studio albums during Gately’s lifetime hit number one in the UK, their third being their most successful internationally.
With Boyzone, Gately had a record-breaking sixteen consecutive singles enter the top five of the UK Singles Chart.