This month marked four years since the death of Stephen Gately, his Boyzone band mates say they have found ways to cope from losing a dear friend.

Speaking to the Metro newspaper, Keith Duffy said: “Initially we didn’t have the tools to cope with the loss of Stephen but over the last four years we’ve developed that.”

Ronan Keating added: “There are little things you know not to do or switch on and there’s little tools you’ll find to help you get through it. But the more you do it the stronger you get.”

In September last year, Ronan said in a radio interview that Stephen had been his best friend.

Ronan also spoke of how proud he, and everyone in Boyzone was, when Stephen came out as gay in 1999.

The singer died at his holiday villa in Mallorca on 10 October 2009. His death was later determined to have been caused by a pulmonary edema resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition.

A pulmonary edema is a build up of fluid within the alveoli of the lungs, which results in fluid moving from the blood vessels across capillary and alveolar membranes into the alveoli.

It can happen for a number of reasons, but is usually due to a build up of pressure in the circulation and is sometimes caused by a heart abnormality.

Six days after his death the Daily Mail printed an article by columnist Jan Moir. She wrote: “Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again. Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one.” Moir suggested that drugs and a “dangerous lifestyle” were to blame for Stephen’s death.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) received more than 25,000 complaints about the article. The PCC ruled the article had caused “some offence but there was insufficient evidence it breached the law.”

Moir eventually apologised to Stephen’s family over the timing of her article, but she denied accusations of homophobia.