The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan discharged from hospital in time for Christmas birthday

‘Fairytale of New York’ singer had been receiving care in hospital for months, with wife Victoria Mary Clarke providing regular updates

Ellie Muir
Thursday 23 November 2023 18:05 GMT
Shane MacGowan discusses his song 'Fairytale of New York'

The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has been discharged from hospital ahead of his upcoming birthday on Christmas Day, his wife has announced.

The Irish singer, 65, had been receiving care at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin after being diagnosed with viral encephalitis, a rare and potentially life-threatening condition that causes the brain to swell.

In an update posted on Wednesday (22 November) night, his wife, Irish journalist Victoria Mary Clarke tweeted an image of MacGowan smiling in a hospital bed wearing a scarf and bobble hat.

Alongside the post, she wrote: “Shane got out of the hospital!”

“We are deeply and eternally grateful to all of the doctors and nurses and staff at St Vincent’s it’s the best!

“And special thanks to Tom Creagh and Brian Corscadden for your help.”

MacGowan revealed he was diagnosed with encephalitis last year in a video posted to social media on New Year’s Eve.

Since his stay at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, MacGowan’s wife has been sharing updates with fans from the singer’s bedside, including photos of him greeting his friends.

On Sunday (19 November), Clarke tweeted that the “Fairytale of New York” singer had been “so happy” to see musician Imelda May, as she shared a picture of the pair hugging.

May, who previously shared a post showing her visiting MacGowan in August, quote-tweeted Clarke’s post and commented: “My darlin’ Shane! So good to see you today. Best kisser.”

MacGowan has also been visited in the past week by his Pogues bandmates, Spider Stacy and Terry Woods.

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On 17 November, Clarke thanked her followers for sending well-wishes to MacGowan as she expressed her hope that he would be able to return home in time for the festive season.

“Shane is feeling much better today!” she wrote. “I am so grateful to everyone who is willing him to get home for [Christmas].”

MacGowan rose to fame in the early Eighties as the frontman of the Irish band The Pogues, which is best known for its festive hit song “Fairytale Of New York”. The 1987 duet with Irish singer Kirsty MacColl is widely regarded as one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.

The singer was born on Christmas Day 1957 in Pembury, Kent, to his mother Therese, who was a Feis Ceoil singer, and father Maurice.

In 2018, The Pogues frontman and journalist Clarke married in a small ceremony in Copenhagen, Denmark, in front of guests including Johnny Depp.

Earlier this month, Clarke wrote about her worries in an Instagram post, saying she was “facing terrifying fears of loss”.

“Sometimes when you love very deeply, you will find yourself facing terrifying fears of loss that can feel so big and devastating that you don’t know how you can survive them and you can’t imagine life without this person that you love,” she wrote in an Instagram post earlier this month.

MacGowan has used a wheelchair since 2015 after fracturing his pelvis in a fall while leaving a studio in Dublin.

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