A gathering of mourners and fans assembled in Dublin today to bid farewell to Shane MacGowan, preceding his funeral in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. The esteemed songwriter, acclaimed as the frontman of the London-Irish punk/folk band The Pogues, passed away at the age of 65 last week.
The procession, conducted by horse-drawn carriage, proceeded from South Lotts Road in Dublin’s southside, down Pearse Street, and onto Westland Row. MacGowan’s public funeral mass, scheduled for livestreaming, will be held at St Mary’s of the Rosary Church in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, at 3.30pm.
President Michael D Higgins is expected to attend, along with well-known figures from the world of music and film. Rumored attendees include actors Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, along with musician Bruce Springsteen.
The passing of The Pogues’ frontman, renowned for the iconic Christmas hit “Fairytale Of New York,” occurred peacefully at 3 am on November 30, surrounded by his wife and family, according to a statement from his relatives.
Much like his idol Lou Reed, MacGowan’s song-writing blended contemporary sounds with traditional poetic sensibility. His litany of hits included dreamy ballads like “A Rainy Night in Soho,” “The Old Main Drag,” and a duet with his late friend Sinead O’Connor, titled ‘Haunted.’
He was due to celebrate his 66th birthday on Christmas Day. We will surely be hearing ”Fairytale of New York” ringing out from even more bars than usual in the coming weeks, and it will be all the more poignant this year. While the term ‘legend’ can be overused, in this case, it really is farewell to a true Irish legend.