(Dublin) A large crowd gathered in Dublin on Friday to pay tribute to Shane MacGowan, singer of the Celtic punk band The Pogues who died at the end of November, during a procession through the streets of the Irish capital.
Behind the artist’s coffin, covered with an Irish flag in a hearse pulled by four horses, the procession set off around 11 a.m. (6 a.m. Eastern time) through the streets of Dublin.
Shane MacGowan has died aged 65.
The procession, accompanied by emotional applause, is opened with music by the traditional Irish group Artane Band, in blue uniform, which has existed since the 1870s.
A ceremony must then be held in the afternoon in Nenagh, in the west of the country. American actor Johnny Depp and Australian singer Nick Cave are among the names of participants cited by Irish media. Irish President Michael D Higgins is also announced.
The artist’s family “stressed the importance of celebrating a mass because it’s another side of Shane McGowan,” Father Pat Gilbert told RTE. This is an aspect of the character which “was not known”, but “which must be celebrated”.
The death of Shane MacGowan, 65, Ireland’s leading voice, was announced last Thursday by his wife Victoria Mary Clarke. He had been hospitalized several times since July.
Born in 1957 in England to Irish parents, the artist founded the Pogues in 1982.
He then played Irish ballads in pubs performed at a hundred miles an hour by musicians cheerfully mixing Irish rhythms and punk energy.
Combining Celtic legends and drunkenness, The Pogues became the political voice of young Irish immigrants in London in the 1980s, anti-Thatcher and anti-censorship.
The Pogues’ biggest commercial success was Fairytale of New York, a 1987 duet between Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl that became a Christmas classic tinged with Irish folklore.