SHANE MacGowan’s devastated family have paid tribute to the beloved Pogues frontman who’s died aged 65.
Shane’s heartbroken wife Victoria Mary Clarke, his sister Siobhan and father Maurice confirmed the singer died at 3am after being given the last rites.
They said: “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 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.”
The singer had been receiving care in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin for an infection but was discharged last week ahead of his upcoming birthday on Christmas Day.
From the 1980s, he lead the Irish punk band who are best known for their hit festive song Fairytale Of New York which was released in 1987.
And confirming his tragic death today, Victoria Mary said he has now been reunited with his mother Therese, who tragically died in a car crash on New Year’s Day 2017.
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Victoria Mary wrote on Instagram: “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.”
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His sister Siobhan also paid tribute, 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.”
Irish President Michael D Higgins said there was “particular poignancy” that the death of Shane MacGowan had followed closely that of Sinead O’Connor.
He said: “Born on Christmas Day, there was perhaps some form of destiny which led Shane to writing Fairytale Of New York, the timeless quality of which will surely mean that it will be listened to every Christmas for the next century or more.
“Likewise songs like Rainy Night In Soho, A Pair Of Brown Eyes, If I Should Fall From Grace With God and so many others will live on far into the years and decades to come.
“I think too of Haunted, and the particular poignancy that both Shane and Sinead O’Connor have left us in such quick succession.”
He added: “It was a great honour for me, as President of Ireland, to present Shane with a lifetime achievement award in the National Concert Hall in January 2018 as we marked his 60th birthday. A richly deserved honour.”
Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald has described Shane MacGowan as “a poet” who was unique in how he told “the Irish story”.
She said that Ireland “has lost one of its most beloved icons and the world one of its greatest songwriters”.
“Shane was a poet, a dreamer and a champion of social justice. He was a dedicated Republican and a proud Irishman.
“Nobody told the Irish story like Shane – stories of emigration, heartache, dislocation, redemption, love and joy.
“Shane brought his musical unique style to all corners of the world, and his music will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.
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“Today we mourn his passing. He was one of the best of us. Ni bheidh a leitheid aris ann.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to his wife Victoria, his sister Siobhan, his extended family and very wide circle of friends.”