Former BOYZONE singer Ronan Keating's attempt to walk across Ireland for charity is being hampered by legions of screaming fans.

The Irish star set off on the epic 676 kilometre (420 mile) stroll across his homeland on Saturday (17MAY03), but at every stage of the journey, Keating is being mobbed by female devotees.

A spokesperson says, "Ronan has had loads of girly fans following him - it was unbelievable."

Despite the attention, Keating is managing to cover around 40 kilometres (25 miles) a day in his bid to raise cash for the cancer charity he set up in honour of his mother MARIE - who lost her battle with the disease two years ago (01).

He is accompanied by a travelling army of physiotherapists, security staff, family and friends.

Keating says of the challenge, "I agreed to do it in a weak moment down the pub. My next plan is to climb Everest."

20/05/2003 13:53