News of the death of Shane MacGowan, one of Ireland’s most beloved singers, has brought tributes and memories from around the world. The singer for the Pogues, and later the Popes, and an artistic collaborator with the likes of Joe Strummer, Nick Cave, Steve Earle, Sinéad O’Connor, and many others, he was a singular poet, lyricist, and performer. His mark on Irish culture served as much as a mirror, reflecting the experience of Irish emigration and an unabashed pride in culture, as it did a machete, clearing out centuries of sentimental, over-emotional undergrowth with sharp edges of punk and confidence.
Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald said, “It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the death of Shane McGowan.
“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.
“Today we mourn his passing. He was one of the best of us. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.
“I want to extend my deepest condolences to his wife Victoria, his sister Siobhán, his extended family and very wide circle of friends.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”
Former Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said, “I am deeply saddened at the news of the death of my good friend Shane MacGowan. I extend my solidarity and condolences to Victoria and to his sister Siobhán, his family and many friends.
“I was with Shane and Victoria last Wednesday after he was released from hospital.
“I have been a fan of Shane for decades. He came to west Belfast on several occasions to play at Féile an Phobail.
“Shane was an extraordinary human being whose music and kindness lifted people’s spirit. His music is tremendous and his lyrics and writing reflect who we are as a people. The Pogues were one of the best bands ever.
“Ireland has lost a great patriot, a poet and friend of the downtrodden and marginalised.
“Shane’s generosity and solidarity and his wonderful music and lyrics touched many millions over the years and will continue to do so into the future.
“Tá sé anois ar shlí na fírinne”
Sinn Féin Vice President and First Minister Elect Michelle O’Niell said, “Very sad news on the passing of legendary Irish singer, songwriter and poet, Shane MacGowan.
“He was an incredible talent and a national treasure.
“My thoughts are with his wife Victoria Mary Clarke and family, friends and many fans at home and abroad.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”