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Ronan was singled out and tailed for paper

BOYZONE star Ronan Keating was followed by a private eye working for former tabloid The News of the World, it has been revealed.

The Dublin singer (34) , who is currently working as a judge on the Australian X Factor, was one of hundreds of celebrities, including Princes William and Harry, who were tailed by Derek Webb.

The list of targets has emerged in the wake of the mobile phone hacking scandal which closed the UK newspaper earlier this year.

Webb has confessed to the BBC that he was paid to follow and record the movements of well-known faces, singled out for surveillance by staff at the tabloid over an eight-year period.

High-profile figures on the list alongside father-of-two Keating included A-list actress Sienna Miller, Prince Harry's ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, footballers Rio Ferdinand and John Terry, as well as X Factor boss Simon Cowell.

It has also surfaced that Princes William and Harry were trailed by the private investigator, a former policeman who ran a private firm called Silent Shadow, acting on behalf of the News of the World.

Webb told the broadcaster that he was paid to track more than 90 targets, while 153 people featured on a list of individuals selected for surveillance between 2003 and 2011.

"Basically I would write down what they were wearing at the time, what car they were in, who they met, the location they met, the times -- the times were very important -- and I would keep that," the hired investigator said.

Webb has insisted that he had never hacked into individuals' voicemails, a practice which caused widespread chaos and led to the News of the World's closure earlier this year.

A News International spokesman said: "We are not able to make any comment around the specific work carried out by Derek Webb."

labutler@herald.ie


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