This morning in Dublin Stephen Gately's funeral was held, there is a palpable saddness in the city because we are laying to rest one of our own.
Stephen Gately grew up around Sheriff street, an area not know for its affluence, and we like to see other Dubliners succeed from the areas that are largely forgotten and ignored by Celtic tigers and increasing wealth.
I remember being an over excited teenager and meeting Stephen Gately by chance on O'Connell street, and his taking the time to talk to a group of us with great humour and patience - his being funny and kind. It is sad to think that such a young man has died.
It is a shame that tragic death of a young man has been ued by some to air their own ignorance and predjudice - and it should not be forgotten that whatever claim we feel we have on celebrity at the present time Stephen belongs primarily to his friends and family, to the people who knew him as a person and not as a popstar. They should not have been intruded upon in the grief to have to respond in any form to the stupidity of a journalist whose words should not have been printed.
Above all else today we have buried a young man, whos life should be celebrated and passing mourned. Today the people of Dublin reclaimed one of their own, we should not forget, in the midst of the intrusive commentary that always surrounds celebrity, that Stephen Gately was a Dublin Lad, that he was far too young to die and that today is a very sad day.