Pogues Frontman Shane MacGowan Has Died Aged 65

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The death has been announced of Pogues frontman and songwriter Shane MacGowan. He was 65 and had been ill for some time. In 1987 Shane co-wrote the Fairy Tale of New York with Jem Finer and the song has since become a Christmas Classic. Shane is survived by his wife Victoria Mary Clarke and his sister Siobhan. Shane MacGowan had been receiving treatment in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin for several months. He was discharged on 22 November and returned home to spend time with his family and friends.

His late mother Therese, who died in 2017 and father Maurice(Dublin) have roots in the Silvermines area which led to Shane spending a lot of time in Tipperary in his childhood.  He was born in Kent in 1957 and blended his knowledge of folk and traditional Irish music with the styles of punk music emerging in the 1970s leading eventually to the formation of the Pogues band. Touring and his own hectic lifestyle took it’s toll and Shane parted ways with the Pogues in 1991 but re-joined the band in 2001. His health declined in the early 2000s and a fall caused serious injuries to his pelvis leaving him dependent on a wheelchair.

A celebration was held at the National Concert Hall in 2018 to mark his 60th birthday and President Michael D Higgins presented Shane with a lifetime achievement award.

Today President Higgins paid tribute to Shane MacGowan saying he will be remembered as one of music’s greatest lyricists. 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, continues the statement from President Higgins.  The President highlights that Shane was Born on Christmas Day, perhaps creating the destiny which led to writing ‘Fairytale of New York’.

President Higgins is extending his deepest condolences to Shane’s wife Victoria, his sister Siobhán, his father Maurice, his bandmates in the Pogues and other projects, and to all his many friends and family.