WESTLIFE IN TRIBUTE OFFER TO BANDMATE
By Paul Martin
NICKY Byrne's Westlife bandmates have told the grief-stricken star they will sing at his tragic father's funeral service.
Grieving Nicky spoke with Shane Filan, Kian Egan and Mark Feehily yesterday as he came to terms with his father's sudden death after he collapsed and died of a heart attack on Tuesday morning.
As his distraught family began making funeral plans yesterday a source close to the star told how his three Westlife pals offered to give Nicky Snr their personal send-off.
He said: "Nicky has been really comforted by the support he has received from his mates. They have told him they will sing for his dad if he wants them to.
"They all rallied together and they sang at Kian's father's funeral in the summer and they want to do the same for Nicky.
"He's going to take his time and think it over but it would certainly be a touching tribute and it just shows how close all the lads are."
Yesterday Nicky's mother-in-law Miriam Ahern was among those lending her support to the Byrne family.
She said: "He was truly well respected by everybody and will definitely be missed by many people.
"He was just a lovely, lovely man. Nicky and Georgina are understandably very upset. We're still in shock. It's very difficult."
Westlife manager Louis Walsh added he was stunned by the death, just three weeks after Boyzone's Stephen Gately passed away.
He said: "It's crazy, it just seems to be bad news on top of more bad news. We are devastated and our thoughts and prayers are with Nicky and his family at this time."
Westlife were due to embark on a promotional tour of Glasgow yesterday but have cancelled all their engagements for the coming days.
Yesterday Nicky's former bandmate Brian McFadden added his tributes. He said: "I'm devastated by this. Nicky was an amazing man. He was always great fun and had a smile on his face. This year has been full of death - it's been the worst year of my life."
RTE's Gerry Ryan also joined the tributes. The DJ told listeners: "Nicky Byrne was a lovely man. A very friendly, down-to-earth man. My thoughts are with the family."
Source: Irish Daily Mirror