Ronan Keating has confirmed that Boyzone are splitting permanently later this year after they celebrate their 25th anniversary with a new album and tour.

It had been reported last week that the Irish foursome consisting of Keating, Mikey Graham, Keith Duffy and Shane Lynch, were planning to disband after releasing a final album together before embarking on a massive farewell tour.

On Monday, Keating took to Instagram to confirm the news. He wrote: "The news is out and yes, it's true...our new album will be the last for Boyzone.

"We've had twenty-five amazing years and we promise you that this will be our biggest and best year yet."

"Watch this space...#BZ25", he added.

The singer also posted an Instagram video in which he apologised to fans for not getting the news from them first.

He said: "Apologies that you didn't hear it from us straight up, it wasn't our fault. The plan was that you were supposed to hear it from the four of us and somebody jumped the gun.

"It's our final album, final tour. Time to hang up those dancing shoes. We're going to have one last hurrah. The album is unbelievable. I promise you you're in for a treat, it's the best record we've ever made."

He continued: "It is sad, it's heartbreaking. Twenty five incredible years. On behalf of the four of us, and from Steo, thanks very much for the support.

"Thank you for everything, let's enjoy the ride. It's not over", he concluded.

Band member Shane Lynch tweeted a video adding thoughts on the split, saying "the news is out, bad news, but let's turn it into a positive because this is going to be the best album we've ever done, the best tour we've ever done and we're all very excited about it".

He also promised "one big last boom in the Boyzone world" while Keith Duffy wrote on Instagram "watch this space!"

Mikey Graham tweeted to his followers "see you on tour for one last blast. All the hits for all our fans."

Boyzone's legions of fans have been taking to Twitter to voice their sadness over the news, saying it's the "end of an era".

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