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The Pogues star Shane MacGowan, best known for Christmas hit Fairytale Of New York, dies at 65

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Shane MacGowan, esteemed lead vocalist and songwriter of the pioneering Celtic punk group The Pogues and a revered figure in band leadership, passed away at the age of 65 after a prolonged battle with illness. Born in Kent on 25 December 1957, the Irish star will forever be associated with the festive period thanks to The Pogues’ 1987 hit, Fairytale Of New York, featuring the late Kirsty MacColl.


His family announced his passing, which occurred at 3.30 am on November 30, remembering him as “our most beautiful, darling and dearly beloved.” source: RTE

Victoria Mary Clarke, his wife, expressed her profound affection and admiration in a social media statement: “Shane will always be my guiding light and the benchmark of my aspirations and the love of my life… I am immeasurably blessed to have known him, loved him, and to have received his endless and unconditional love.”

MacGowan faced serious health challenges in the last year of his life. In December 2022, he was hospitalized with viral encephalitis and subsequently spent several months in intensive care throughout 2023.

In a heartfelt statement, President Michael D Higgins offered his respects to Shane MacGowan, hailing him as “one of music’s greatest lyricists.”

President Higgins remarked on MacGowan’s unique talent, noting that his “songs would be perfectly crafted poems if that would not have deprived us of the opportunity to hear him sing them.

“His words have connected Irish people all over the globe to their culture and history, encompassing so many human emotions in the most poetic of ways.

President Higgins continued, “On behalf of Sabina and myself, I would like to express our deepest sympathies to Shane’s wife, Victoria, his sister Siobhán, his father, Maurice, his fellow band members in the Pogues and other collaborations, and to all his numerous friends and relatives.”

Very sad. RIP. 


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