Westlife are set to split next year.

The Irish foursome – who are made up of Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan – have announced they will part ways “amicably” in 2012 following a greatest hits album and a farewell tour next year.

A statement released today (19.10.11) by the boy band read: “After 14 years, 26 top ten hits including 14 number one singles, 11 top 5 albums, seven of which hit the top spot and have collectively sold over 44 million copies around the world, 10 sell-out tours and countless memories that we will forever cherish, we today announce our plan to go our separate ways after a greatest hits collection this Christmas and a farewell tour next year.

“The decision is entirely amicable and after spending all of our adult life together so far, we want to have a well-earned break and look at new ventures. We see the greatest hits collection and the farewell tour as the perfect way to celebrate our incredible career along with our fans. We are really looking forward to getting out on the tour and seeing our fans one last time.”

Westlife – who had a total of 14 number one hit singles, including ‘Swear it Again’ and ‘Flying Without Wings’ – thanked their fans for supporting them over the years and revealed their time together has been a “dream come true”.

The statement added: “Over the years Westlife has become so much more to us than just a band. Westlife are a family. We would like to thank our fans who have been with us on this amazing journey and are part of our family too.

“We never imagined when we started out in 1998 that 14 years later we would still be recording, touring and having hits together. It has been a dream come true for all of us.”

The band launched as a five-piece in 1998 but Irish singer Brian McFadden quit the group in 2004 to spend more time with his family and work on solo projects.

Their ‘Greatest Hits’ album is set to be released on November 21st following the release of their latest single ‘Lighthouse’ on November 13th.

Westlife’s forthcoming tour dates:

May 2012

Monday 14 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena

Tuesday 15 Liverpool Echo Arena

Thursday 17 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

Saturday 19 Sheffield Motorpoint Arena

Sunday 20 Birmingham LG Arena

Tuesday 22 Nottingham Capital FM Arena

Wednesday 23 London O2 Arena

Saturday 26 Manchester Evening News Arena

Sunday 27 Glasgow SECC