Shane MacGowan’s funeral is being held on Friday, December 8, the same day that his friend Sinéad O’Connor would have turned 57.
O'Connor's cause of death has not been disclosed, but police did confirm there was nothing suspicious. MacGowan, meanwhile, died after a lengthy stay in the hospital, though he had been allowed to go home on November 22.
Upon MacGowan's passing, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins noted with "particularly poignancy" that the two "have left us in such quick succession."
MacGowan and O'Connor, both Irish music icons, had been friends since the 90s, though they did endure rough patches in their relationship.
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In 1992, the two re-recorded the Pogues' 1986 song "Haunted," which was later released on the "Two If by Sea/Stolen Hearts" movie soundtrack in 1995.
The two appeared together on RTÉ's "Kenny Live" on April 22, 1995, to discuss the duet.
When Kenny complimented MacGowan's songwriting talents, the Pogues frontman retorted with a smile, "Sinéad's not bad either."
However, MacGowan's drug use would put a strain on their relationship.
In 1999, O'Connor called the police on MacGowan after she discovered him using heroin at his home in London. MacGowan was arrested - and was furious.
However, it was the wake-up call he needed. When asked in a 2003 interview if the incident had ended his relationship with O'Connor, MacGowan replied: "No, but it ended my relationship with heroin."
He added: "I'm not recommending to people that they should rat their friends out to the police, you know what I mean?
"At the time I was furious, obviously, but I'm actually very grateful to her now."
In 2007, the two reunited on stage for a rousing rendition of the Pogues' Christmas classic "Fairytale of New York."
MacGowan's warm sentiments toward O'Connor apparently endured. In 2021, he told the New York Times for a profile of O'Connor: “She’s a generous soul. She looked after me when I really needed it.”
A few days after the NYT profile of O'Connor was published, MacGowan wrote "Sinéad I love you" on X.
He posted his sweet message alongside lyrics from his Pogues' song "A Rainy Night in Soho," and shared a link to their "Haunted" duet.
“I've been loving you a long time
Down all the years, down all the days
And I've cried for all your troubles
Smiled at your funny little ways”
Sinéad I love you 😍May 21, 2021
A few months later, however, O'Connor claimed in "A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan" that she believed MacGowan "doesn’t want to live or he wouldn’t be doing all the drugs." (MacGowan's wife Victoria Mary Clarke denied the claims.)
Later, in January 2022, MacGowan posted a heartfelt message to O'Connor in the wake of the death of her teenage son.
Sinéad you have always been there for me and for so many people, you have been a comfort & a soul who is not afraid to feel the pain of the suffering. You have always tried to heal & help. I pray that you can be comforted & find strength, healing & peace in your own sorrow & loss pic.twitter.com/cLn8JwTbuX— Shane MacGowan (@ShaneMacGowan) January 8, 2022
After O'Connor's death in July, MacGowan posted another heartfelt message: "I love you and I hope you are at peace."
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Sinéad I love you and I hope you are at peace https://t.co/lXg1kmYGRh— Shane MacGowan (@ShaneMacGowan) July 27, 2023
MacGowan's funeral will be held on December 8, what would have been O'Connor's 57th birthday. It is expected that MacGowan's procession in Dublin and his funeral Mass later in the day in Nenagh, Co Tipperary will draw huge crowds, similar to the turnout at O'Connor's funeral in Bray in August.