Tributes have been pouring in for Shane MacGowan after he passed away aged 65 on Thursday.
The death of the legendary rocker, who was behind the iconic Christmas song Fairytale of New York, was announced by his wife Victoria Mary Clarke in a post on Instagram.
It comes just three days after she shared a touching photo of the singer beaming in his hospital bed alongside the news he has left St Vincent’s Hospital.
The singer was diagnosed with viral encephalitis – a life-threatening condition which leads to brain swelling – and has been in and out of hospital for months.
Radio DJ Annie Mac shared a post after his death as she wrote: ‘RIP Shane McGowan. One of the finest lyricists of a generation. A man who loved Ireland with all his heart and took the music and culture and mixed it with his London upbringing to bring us The Pogues.
‘What a band. What a discography. I am thankful to my big brothers for playing The Pogues albums relentlessly round the house when I was growing up. His voice will be forever nostalgic for me, taking me straight home to Dublin.’
Nick Cave, who performed at the National Concert Hall when Shane was given a lifetime achievement award, also paid tribute to Shane – who he has also sang with.
The Australian musician said: ‘A true friend and the greatest songwriter of his generation. A very sad day.’
Elsewhere paying tribute Piers Morgan wrote: ‘RIP Shane MacGowan, 65. Irish punk legend, genius Pogues singer/songwriter, and hell-raiser extraordinaire.
‘His favourite joke was: ‘I was given six weeks to live, about 25 years ago!’ Let’s make Fairytale of New York the Christmas No1 as a tribute. (He was born on Xmas Day).’
The Saturdays star Una Healy also shared a snap as she posed with Shane and penned ‘RIP Shane MacGowan’.
Meanwhile Derry Girls actor Siobhan McSweeney has said that Shane ‘was the voice of London for us Irish’.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, she wrote: ‘When I was scared about moving here he lured me over with songs about chancers, drinkers, lovers, poets and scoundrels.
‘That’s the place for me, I thought! He also taught me how to miss home, whatever that may be. Damn shame, Shane.’
In addition, Leigh Francis (stage name Keith Lemon) penned on Instagram: ‘RIP Shane MacGowan. Sad times. Fairytale of New York Christmas one of the best Christmas times ever! #christmasnumber1.’
English musician and singer Peter ‘Spider’ Stacy has paid tribute to his fellow bandmate Shane, sharing an image of him performing on a stage.
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Stacy wrote: ‘O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done..’
Stacy co-founded The Pogues along with Shane, Jem Finer and James Fearnley and appeared on all of their recordings.
English football pundit Stan Collymore wrote: ‘Rest in peace, Shane. Thank you for the music and for many, making Christmas, Christmas.’
Actor Michael Warburton penned: ‘RIP SHANE MACGOWAN – an untameable, wild, creative & talented maverick.’
DJ Fat Tony wrote on Instagram: ‘Rest in Peace Shane MacGowan,’ alongside a picture of the singer.
The Pogues wrote on their Twitter: ‘A statement on behalf of Shane MacGowan’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke, his sister Siobhan and father, Maurice.
‘It is with the deepest sorrow and heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of SHANE MACGOWAN.
‘Shane died peacefully at 3am this morning (30 November, 2023) with his wife Victoria and family by his side.
‘Prayers and the last rites were read which gave comfort to his family. He is survived by his wife Victoria, his sister Siobhan and his father, Maurice, family and a large circle of friends.
‘Further details will be announced shortly but the family ask for privacy at this very sad time.’
Elsewhere Shane’s sister penned a tribute on Twitter saying: ‘So I walked as day was dawning, as small birds sang and leaves were falling, where we once watched the row boats landing on the Broad Majestic Shannon.’
Meanwhile Irish President Michael D Higgins described Shane MacGowan as one of ‘music’s greatest lyricists’ as he paid tribute to the singer.
Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald was also among many in Ireland paying tribute to MacGowan.
‘Shane was a poet, a dreamer and a champion of social justice,’ she said. ‘Nobody told the Irish story like Shane – stories of emigration, heartache, dislocation, redemption, love and joy.’
Just three days before his death Victoria told fans on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘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.’
Shane has been hospitalised a number of times since the diagnosis and was believed to have been admitted again in June.
The family had hopes that Shane would be able to return home for the festive season.
This week the star was overjoyed to receive a visit from singer Imelda May.
Victoria shared an image of the two reuniting and thanked Imelda for the visit, saying: ‘Shane is so happy to see Imelda!!’
Shane received a whole host of A-list visitors while he has been hospital, including country singer Daniel O’Donnell and Primal Scream legend Bobby Gillsepie.
In her post announcing his death Victoria wrote: ‘I don’t know how to say this so I am just going to say it.
‘Shane who will always be the light that I hold before me and the measure of my dreams and the love ❤️ of my life and the most beautiful soul and beautiful angel and the sun and the moon and the start and end of everything that I hold dear has gone to be with Jesus and Mary and his beautiful mother Therese.
‘I am blessed beyond words to have met him and to have loved him and to have been so endlessly and unconditionally loved by him and to have had so many years of life and love ❤️ and joy and fun and laughter and so many adventures.
‘There’s no way to describe the loss that I am feeling and the longing for just one more of his smiles that lit up my world.
‘Thank you thank you thank you thank you for your presence in this world you made it so very bright and you gave so much joy to so many people with your heart and soul and your music.
‘You will live in my heart forever. Rave on in the garden all wet with rain that you loved so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ You meant the world to me.’
Victoria recently shared a major health update on the hospitalised star.
The rocker left fans shocked when Victoria shared an image showing the extent of his ill health.
In a newer post, the hitmaker was seen smiling, with a caption reading: ‘Shane is feeling much better today! I am so grateful to everyone who is willing him to get home for the Christmas!’
While Shane was the iconic Irish folk band’s vocalist, Spider, real name Peter Richard Spider Stacy, played the tin whistle and Terry Woods the guitar and mandolin.
All three performed in the group during the height of their success in the late 80s and early 90s before reuniting in 2001 with their last gig together in 2014.
Shane’s wife took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to thank the musician’s for paying a visit alongside a harrow photo of her husband now using a breathing apparatus as he continues to battle the dangerous condition.
She penned: ‘I just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone who has been messaging me and @ShaneMacGowan and thank you @spiderstacy and Terry Woods for coming to visit him.
‘Love and prayers for everyone who is struggling right now. Hang in there’.