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Shane MacGowan funeral – latest: Johnny Depp, Bono and Bob Geldof give readings at Tipperary service

The Fairytale of New York singer will be given a private cremation in Nenagh

Barney Davis
in Nenagh, Ireland
,Nicole Vassell,Kevin E G Perry
Friday 08 December 2023 21:30 GMT
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Shane MacGowan's family dance to Fairytale Of New York at funeral

Thousands of mourners including Irish leaders and the country’s biggest celebrities have gathered to pay their respects to Shane MacGowan, the iconic singer of The Pogues, on Friday.

The irrepressible frontman, known for songs including “Fairytale of New York” and “Pair of Brown Eyes”, died last week aged 65. Songs by the band are already playing on loop in the town of Nenagh, where a public mass will be held on Friday at 3.30pm ahead of a private cremation.

It comes after his widow Victoria Mary Clarke said the cause of Shane’s death was pneumonia. MacGowan had suffered from a number of health issues over the years, and had recently been discharged from hospital in Dublin, where he was being treated for encephalitis.

She posted: “Shane hated funerals and he refused to go to them with a few rare exceptions.

“So it’s incredible to think that so many people want to come to his and that so many beautiful people are pouring their hearts and souls into making it magnificent and magical and memorable for him and for us who are left behind.”

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Shane MacGowan finished final album before his death

One promising piece of news that’s broken since MacGowan’s death is that the singer-songwriter completed a final album before he died.

The 15-track record is set to feature both original songs and covers. It was produced in collaboration with Irish band Cronin, and also includes appearances from MacGowan’s former The Pogues bandmates Spider Stacey and Jem Finer.

(Getty Images)

Kevin Perry8 December 2023 21:30
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Mourners pay tribute to Shane MacGowan

Here’s a video we shot earlier today of mourners paying tribute to Shane MacGowan’s humanity, and his songwriting:

Irish mourners pay tribute to Shane MacGowan ahead of funeral
Kevin Perry8 December 2023 20:26
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Nick Cave sings ‘Rainy Night in Soho’

From earlier in the day, here’s Nick Cave singing one of MacGowan’s many masterpieces “Rainy Night in Soho”.

The moment Cave changed the lyric “Now this song is nearly over” to “Now this song is over” was heart-rending.

Nick Cave sings ‘Rainy Night in Soho’ at Shane MacGowan’s funeral
Kevin Perry8 December 2023 19:23
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Shane MacGowan urged Johnny Depp to forgive Amber Heard, widow reveals in eulogy

Shane MacGowan’s widow Victoria Mary Clarke shared an anecdote about Johnny Depp with the actor in attendance during her eulogy.

Shane MacGowan told Johnny Depp to forgive Amber Heard after trial, singer’s widow says

Kevin Perry8 December 2023 19:08
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Shane MacGowan’s family dance to Fairytale of New York at funeral

A lovely moment as MacGowan’s family dance around the church to his festive classic, “Fairytale of New York”:

Shane MacGowan's family dance to Fairytale Of New York at funeral
Kevin Perry8 December 2023 19:01
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Johnny Depp salutes Shane MacGowan before speaking at funeral

Johnny Depp salutes Shane MacGowan before speaking at funeral
Kevin Perry8 December 2023 18:50
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MacGowan heads to the pub one last time

There are people on crutches following the hearse, while others play flutes and hang out of windows as Shane MacGowan heads along the road he has journeyed many a time in life to his favourite pub, Philly Ryan’s.

Barney Davis8 December 2023 18:45
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Shane MacGowan’s hearse departs

People applaud and yell “God bless you Shane” as his hearse leaves the church grounds, with his family following behind.

Shane MacGowan’s hearse (Barney Davis)

Barney Davis8 December 2023 18:33
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Fans commend ‘rollercoaster’ service

Nenagh local Matthew Reilly, 25, says the service was a “rollercoaster”.

He said: “It was half mass, half concert. It was everything Shane would have wanted. People were hanging off the rafters.”

Pogues fan Shane Kennedy, 45, said: “I don’t think he would have liked the camera phones waving about all over the place. People should live in the moment, but apart from that it was a great send off.”

“‘Fairytale of New York’, everyone was falling all over the place. And to see all The Pogues back together for the final time.”

Barney Davis8 December 2023 18:29
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People throw roses and cheer as Shane MacGowan's simple wicker casket leaves the Abbey for a private cremation.

He is given a huge cheer and is followed by the Irish president who shakes hands with everyone as he departs. Johnny Depp is among the pallbearers.

Shane MacGowan’s wicker casket leaves the church (Pogues livestream)
Kevin Perry8 December 2023 18:15

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