Public funeral for Shane MacGowan to take place in Ireland

Crowds set to line the streets of Dublin and Tipperary for Shane MacGowan’s funeral procession today with Johnny Depp, Nick Cave and Irish President Michael D Higgins due to attend

  • The Pogues frontman, 65, died last week – prompting an outpouring of tributes
  • Procession will pass through Dublin city centre ahead of a livestreamed mass 

Thousands of mourners, including a sea of famous faces, are expected to gather to say farewell to The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan in Ireland later today.

The songwriter and singer, best known for festive favourite Fairytale of New York and hits like A Rainy Night In Soho, died last week at the age of 65 from pneumonia, a week after being discharged from hospital following treatment for a brain condition.

His funeral procession is expected to set off from St Lotts Road in Dublin City Centre at 11am, travelling through the city across MacMahon Bridge and onto Pearse Street before turning onto Westland Row, Fenian Street and concluding at Denzille Lane.

It is expected to involve a horse-drawn carriage as well as the Artane Band – a young musicians’ marching band – and a piper. After this, the hearse and family cars will depart for Nenagh, County Tipperary.

MacGowan’s public funeral mass, which will be livestreamed, will take place at St Mary’s of the Rosary Church in Nenagh at 3.30pm. 

Shane MacGowan died last week at the age of 65, prompting an outpouring of tributes from fans of The Pogues frontman

A woman signs the book of condolence for Shane MacGowan at Dublin’s Mansion House

MacGowan with his wife, journalist Victoria Mary Clarke, who says she has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the tributes to the singer

Irish President Michael D Higgins is expected to attend alongside stars such as actor Johnny Depp – a close friend of the Irish punk singer who attended his wedding to journalist Victoria Mary Clarke – and Nick Cave.

The chief celebrant will be Fr Pat Gilbert, the co-parish priest. Irish band Cronin, which had a strong relationship with MacGowan, will play a song, reports the Irish Independent.

Following the funeral mass, the public will also have the opportunity to pay their respects as the funeral cortege moves through Nenagh town centre from Church Road to Market Cross.

READ MORE: The Pogues could earn £500,000 in Fairytale of New York royalties this year as fans rally to make it the Christmas Number One after Shane MacGowan’s death 

After the funeral, another procession will take place through the County Tipperary town where the public will be given a final chance to pay their respects. A private cremation will follow.

Ahead of the funeral, locals in Nenagh have been paying tribute to MacGowan, who was described as being unlike his raucous public persona in private company. 

Undertaker and publican Philip Ryan told Good Morning Britain on Friday: ‘He wasn’t loud or careless by any means. He was the quiet man in the crowd. He wouldn’t come in (to the pub) and sing a song. It wasn’t about him.’ 

MacGowan was born to Irish parents in 1957 in Pembury, Kent, and he soon moved to rural Tipperary where he was immersed in a culture of ceili bands and showbands.

The Pogues frontman died ‘peacefully’ at 3am on November 30 with his wife and family by his side, a statement from his relatives said.

He was due to celebrate his 66th birthday on Christmas Day, and had been undergoing treatment for viral encephalitis at a hospital in Dublin for most of 2023.

Earlier this week, wife Victoria Mary Clarke said she had been ‘overwhelmed’ by messages of love and support since his death amid a campaign to get Fairytale of New York to the Christmas number one slot on the charts.

She told GMB: ‘It’s going to happen, you can’t really get around that, you all are going to lose a loved one. 

‘I know that for me I’ve spent many many years, probably about 35 years worrying about losing Shane because he just pushed the boundaries so much of what humans can do to their bodies, so I dreaded that and I thought that I would fall apart. 

‘There’s a huge amount of love that comes your way when you lose someone that you don’t expect, and I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the love and support there is.’

Fans are continuing to push for Fairytale of New York to reach number one at Christmas – a feat it has never achieved in the 36 years since its release.

The song is number two in the iTunes charts, number six on the UK Spotify streaming charts, and number three in the Official Singles Chart midweek update, behind festive favourites by Mariah Carey and Wham!.

Official Charts bosses say the song is a ‘genuine contender’ for the top slot on Friday December 22, with the race officially kicking off at 12am on December 15, ending at 11.59pm on December 21.

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