Stephen Gately: 'put Sherriff Street on the map'

A Dublin city councillor has asked Iarnród Eireann to rename Docklands train station after the late Stephen Gately, who grew up in nearby Sherriff Street.

Councillors in the capital voted to rename the station earlier this month, and an application for the name change has now been sent to senior personnel in Iarnród Eireann.

However, sources have indicated the company may reject the proposal as it is policy not to rename transport stations after individuals.

Cllr Christy Burke, who proposed the motion, said any rejection of the proposal would be an insult to the Gately family. "I was only down with the Gatelys last week, and if Iarnród Eireann rejects our proposal it would be an affront and a slap in the face".

According to Burke, the former Boyzone member was an ambassador for the Sherriff Street area in Dublin. "Stephen put Sherriff Street on the map, He always came back to the area and was proud of his roots and was never ashamed to say where he was from and where he grew up."

Burke also says the remaining members of Boyzone have agreed to erect a statue in the area in honour of Gately. "The plan is to try and unveil the change in name at the same time as the boys unveil the new statue next St Patrick's day, which is also Stephen's birthday. They have indicated they are planning to do this for 2011, and we are all hoping we can coordinate the two events.

"There is a huge amount of support for this. It would be an important boost for the area which has keenly felt his loss over the last few months. You don't get Stephen Gatelys coming along every day. If the proposal is rejected, I will be inviting the Iarnród Eireann Senior Personnel into a committee meeting to see how supported this idea is."

Burke approached Gately's mother a few months ago for permission to go ahead with the proposal. "We are all anticipating the result. It is the dignified thing to do at this stage."

He also compared the singer's funeral to the arrival of the Pope in the Ireland. "The morning of his mass is something I will never forget. It was like the day the Pope arrived, like a spiritual awakening of sorts."