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Heartwarming moment Shane MacGowan’s family dance to rendition of ‘Fairytale of New York’ at star’s funeral
8 December 2023, 20:06 | Updated: 8 December 2023, 20:10
This is the unforgettable moment Shane MacGowan’s family take to the church aisles as they dance to a rendition of Fairytale of New York.
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Shane MacGowan, who found fame as the lead singer of London-Irish punk/folk band The Pogues, died last week.
Mourners gathered from all across the world to pay their tributes to the songwriter on Friday.
Several famous faces paid their respects to the beloved singer, including Johnny Depp, Bono and Bob Geldof, and thousands line the streets to pay tribute to The Pogues singer.
Footage captured from the funeral service on Friday evening shows the heartwarming moment Shane MacGowan’s family members take to the church aisles to dance to Glen Hansard and Lisa O’Neill's striking rendition of Fairytale of New York.
The mourners join hand in hand as they pay tribute to MacGowan to the tune of his most legendary hit.
Fans were quick to pour in with words of admiration for the rendition of the festive hit, as one wrote online: “If I ever have a funeral, I want it to be just like this. Dancing, not crying. Or dancing with crying.”
Nick Cave also gave a performance of ‘A Rainy Night in Soho’ during the Friday service.
Another added: “What a beautiful scene, can't help but get overcome with so many different yet wonderful emotions.”
Depp delivered a prayer at the funeral, while a recording from Bono, who was unable to attend, was played.
As many as 30,000 mourners are believed to have taken to the streets to celebrate his life.
Warning: Contains strong language
Plus: Glen Hansard and Lisa O’Neill perform ‘Fairytale of New York’ as a reflection after Communion.— Gavan Reilly (@gavreilly) December 8, 2023
Can honestly say this is the first time I’ve ever seen dancing in the aisles at a funeral… pic.twitter.com/FhVx8dzPXp
The Funeral of Shane MacGowan https://t.co/Egg69KmwsP— Shane MacGowan (@ShaneMacGowan) December 8, 2023
His procession travelled by horse-drawn carriage from South Lotts Road in Dublin's southside earlier on Friday, down Pearse Street and onto Westland Row.
Among those who turned out to pay their respects is Aidan Grimes, 60, who described MacGowan as an icon.
He said: "I remember the first time I saw The Pogues in the Hammersmith Odeon in 1985. It is imprinted in my mind forever, just the madness and mayhem, the raucous nature of his singing and the music they were playing.
"Through the years he evolved into a great poet and he will be sadly missed.
"I met him in Dublin about 15 years ago and he was a very charming, nice, friendly man. He talked about music and his time in London.
"I thought it was important to pay my respects. He was an icon of Dublin, just like Brendan Behan, Luke Kelly. His music will be listened to in 100 years' time."
Kevin Sexton from Co Fermanagh said MacGowan opened doors for Irish people living in England.
"He made Irish people proud to be Irish at a time in London when it was a very difficult time to be Irish.
"The Troubles were in full tilt. A lot of terrible things happened.
"Shane MacGowan opened doors. He introduced Irish culture and his own unique writing ability and voice and style that opened up a mix of Irish music plus rock plus punk, his whole unique persona transformed into song that enlightened the world."
Darragh McColgan from Dublin said MacGowan was a genius.
He added: "To me he was all about culture, the energy of it, it was representative to me of what being Irish is.
"It will be a day we knew was coming but it won't be easy to deal with because of what a big impact he was."
MacGowan's public funeral mass, which was livestreamed, took place at St Mary's of the Rosary Church in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, at 3.30pm.
Father Pat Gilbert told RTE that the funeral would celebrate the spiritual side of MacGowan.
He said: "It's a side of him that's not known but it's a side of him we must celebrate. It's a side that was important to him in the context of his living of his life.
"We will have the rite of reception, we'll have mass and we'll have the rite of final accommodation interspersed with pieces of his music which will be performed by some of his friends.
"I think that's the right thing to do, that's the way to celebrate the man, the faith, the music and the lyric.
"It's the way to celebrate and remember the husband, the brother, the son and the brother-in-law."
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.
A private cremation will follow.
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, best known for the hit festive song Fairytale Of New York, 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.