Shane MacGowan’s final request was perfectly in line with his character – he desired his mourners to enjoy an extended night of revelry in his honor.
The punk poet of The Pogues, who passed away at the age of 65 due to pneumonia after months of illness, reportedly left €10k behind the bar at The Thatched Cottage in Nenagh. This small town in Co Tipperary was the location of his star-studded funeral on Friday, December 8th.
A former drinking companion of the notoriously hard-drinking MacGowan shared with The Independent during our time in Tipperary for his funeral and wake: “I know the pub they are going to for the meal after there has already been €10,000 handed over the counter for free beer – it was Shane’s last request.
“It is a beautiful place just outside of town but there is only a limited amount of people allowed.”
The Thatched Cottage, located three miles outside Nenagh, hosted MacGowan’s exclusive, invite-only VIP wake. While the source of the substantial bar bill remains unknown, numerous mourners claimed it was covered by MacGowan’s estate.
Attendees required pre-prepared concert-style passes and lanyards to gain entry, with the entrance guarded by a team of 10 suited security personnel—unusual for the typically unguarded rural establishment.
The mourners who exhausted the bar’s supply within the crowded pub, from 6 pm to dawn, featured long-time friend Johnny Depp, 60, Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, 62, MacGowan’s Pogues bandmates, and singer Glen Hansard.
Hansard, aged 53, performed the Pogues classic Fairytale of New York for the hundreds of mourners-turned-revelers inside the bar—similar to his earlier rendition at the funeral in St. Mary’s of the Rosary Church.
When you lose a loved one you need to be able to focus on the blessings and I want to thank #johnnydepp for being a tower of strength and for supporting me and @ShaneMacGowan in so many ways with such respect and compassion and loyalty ❤️ photo @ginadeuters pic.twitter.com/uIyuGiASOL
— @victoriamary (@Victoriamary) December 10, 2023
It was reported that MacGowan’s widow, Victoria Mary Clarke, spent the majority of the night “hanging out with Johnny Depp” whom she described this week as a “tower of strength” following the death of her husband of 20 years.
A guest within The Thatched Cottage mentioned that the “most special moment of the night” occurred when the remaining members of The Pogues, including Spider Stacy, 64, and bassist Cait O’Riordan, 58, delivered a spirited rendition of their traditional foot-stomper, The Body of An American.
Three miles in the opposite direction, there was another wake for MacGowan, albeit without complimentary drinks.
It took place at Philly’s Bar, owned by the singer’s beloved landlord, who also served as his undertaker.
Philip ‘Philly’ Ryan, the owner of JJ Ryan’s funeral parlour, situated across from the pub named after him, took care of the arrangements for MacGowan’s final farewell.
Philly’s was packed to the rafters, with one drinker describing it as “like ten St Patrick’s Days in New York”, with the unofficial send-off going on until well after 4am.
In a sincere Instagram post, Victoria, his widow, expressed gratitude to “loyal and devoted friends” for assisting her in coping with her husband’s passing.
She penned: “Johnny Depp is one of the most gracious of angels and I know that Shane really appreciated the way that he was always so completely respectful and accepting of every aspect of his being even at times when a lot of people were dismissing him as being a hopeless addict and past his prime.
“Seeing the adoration that Johnny felt for Shane was a great source of encouragement and strength during some really tough times and I am eternally grateful to him for never seeing Shane as anything less than perfect and brilliant and beautiful.”
Source: The Independent