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13-09-00 news EXCLUSIVE: PAUL MARTIN
Stephen Gately quits Ireland...

Boyzone star Stephen Gately has sensationally quit Ireland to live in Holland with his Dutch lover, Eloy de Jong. Gately has sold his house in Newton Mount Kennedy and moved his possessions to the luxurious five-bedroom house in Amsterdam. The star also has a house in London which he uses when recording and promoting his debut solo album. Last night a pal of the 27-year-old pop millionaire confirmed that he was moving to Holland.

"Both Steven and Eloy have spoken about this for a long time. It was a hard decision because they both love Ireland. "It was getting to the stage when they were spending too much time travelling between Holland, Ireland and London. "Stephen is moving his things to Holland although he intends to visit all his friends and family in Ireland regularly."

Insiders say that Gately agonised over the decision to move away from Ireland after he sold his Wicklow home for 550,000. He has lived in Ireland all his life and recently said he would always have a house in his home country. Many of the stars' most important possessions, including a 150,000 collection of original Disney paintings, are already on their way to Holland.

The Boyzone singer and Dutch pop star De Jong have also converted a luxury boat so they can sail it around the canals of Amsterdam. They have fitted it with a big screen television, bar facilities and 20,000 stereo system to the yacht.

Gately said: "I love Holland, the atmosphere is very relaxed and open-minded which is something that is hard to find. "Eloy and I both get space to be together and we can escape the pressures much more over there.

"We have a boat which we sail about in on the canals. As soon as we both get a couple of weeks off, we go straight to the boat and relax. "We've really done it up nicely with a great sound system, TV and bar facilities. No-one can harass us there."

The couple spent much of the last year in Holland to escape public pressure after Gately 'came out' in a blaze of publicity, the singer will still spend much of his time in London in a house provided by his record company, Polydor as he promotes his debut solo album.

His pal added: "Travelling is part of the music industry so moving to Holland is not a major big deal for him. "He spends most of his time in England at the minute with his commitments to the new album. "He can go home to Ireland whenever he wants."

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