He tells of the little things that make things hard, the missing laughter of Stephen, his number appearing in his mobile, the book they were both reading that Stephen never got to the end of and the feeling he had when he did, the premiere they had planned to attend together. Gately may have been a year Keating's senior but his boyish charm made Ronan, from a family of sisters look on him as his little brother.
He was in Chicago preparing to run the city's marathon when he heard the news. He couldn't believe that the Stephen who had passed away was the bands 'Steo' it surely had to be another Stephen. But then he threw himself into preparing for the funeral. In a way I fully understand that. It was like me and my mum at about 2:30am after my father had died, she came to my room because the light was still on and was working on her to do list to check if there was anything else, of course I added a few things. The practical things sure are a way to keep focus, but there is also a strange sense like Ronan has now looking back on things how surreal your actions are to carry on with some sense of normality or activity when everything has suddenly been shaken up like that.
Going on he says that the funeral was hard. Getting out of the car with people clapping didn't seem right. The normal celebrity reaction to turn wave and smile wasn't right. He says he and the rest of the band didn't want to appear rude, but also didn't want to appear disrespectful, so just kept their eyes on the ground.
However, he did say:
"When times are at their worst, it's amazing what people will do for you. I've seen, this last couple of weeks, the genuine support from the public – it has been incredible – and from the media, bar one. It's been amazing."
Oh yeah the Jan Moir elephant in the room was touched upon. This is the first time that anyone who was close to the story has actually spoken candidly about it. Ronan went on to say:
"None of us read the article because we were told 'You wouldn't want to read it' so we purposely didn't, we ignored it. But obviously it was unavoidable to hear what comments were being made, and I think it's disgusting. It was just wrong; one, for her to write it, and two, for the paper to print it. It shouldn't have been allowed. It was wrong. It looked to me like someone trying to make a name for themselves out of a terrible situation, a devastating situation. And what was worse was the apology – the alleged apology, that was written a week later, was her defending herself! It's just disgraceful. Again, for her to do it and for the paper to allow it. I'm dumbfounded. It's bizarre.
"But anyway, again, I wouldn't dwell on it. I wouldn't want to give her any publicity for that. He was a human being. A human being with feelings; a husband, a family that have feelings. At what point do people cross that line? Incredible," he shakes his head. "Incredibly insensitive."
Guess that unpology was recognised as such by more than just me.
However, Ronan has got himself back into work. When his mother Marie died of breast cancer 11 years ago, he hide himself away for a bit and turned to drink, which he admits wasn't good for him. This time he is back working, promoting his new album Winter Songs which is out tomorrow. Also there will be two tracks on the new Boyzone album which will feature the already recorded voice of Stephen. One of the tracks is going to be the next Boyzone single and Ronan has predicted this tribute is liable to be the biggest hit of 2010.