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Shane MacGowan says he felt guilty for not having the ‘guts’ to join the IRA

In his new film Crock of Gold- A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, the musician explained how he felt ashamed for not joining the IRA

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Shane MacGowan live at the Olympia Theatre, Friday, 14 March, 2003, in Dublin. PA photo: Haydn West

Shane MacGowan live at the Olympia Theatre, Friday, 14 March, 2003, in Dublin. PA photo: Haydn West

Shane MacGowan live at the Olympia Theatre, Friday, 14 March, 2003, in Dublin. PA photo: Haydn West

Shane MacGowan said he previously felt guilty for not having the “guts” to join the IRA in his new documentary.

In his new film Crock of Gold- A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, the musician explained how he felt ashamed for not joining the IRA, but that forming The Pogues and participating in the revolution as a musician helped him overcome that shame.

In a review by The Irish Sun, it's reported he said: “I always felt guilty that I didn’t lay down my life for Ireland,” in the documentary.
“I was ashamed I didn’t have the guts to join the IRA — and the Pogues was my way of overcoming that.

“I had participated in the ­revolution as a musician.”

However, he insists that he isn’t anti-British, adding: “I compromised. I should never have wavered from the path. There has been an Irish revolution in every century.

“It’s a revolution of the mind. I always felt guilty that I didn’t lay down my life for Ireland.”

The Fairytale of New York singer also opens up about his heroin addiction in the tell-all documentary.

He says that he hated touring with The Pogues so much that he turned to the drug, and also tells the story of how the band also hated being on the road- so much so they nearly played a game of Russian roulette.

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On their tour in the 80’s, the group got hold of a loaded revolver and considered playing the game which sees players hold the gun to their head and pull the trigger, not knowing whether a bullet will be released or not.

However, MacGowan’s bandmate Terry Wood’s intervened, something that the 62-year-old has said he is extremely grateful for.

The musician said: “Terry showed what a real man he was by talking the rest of us out of playing Russian Roulette.

“It got to that stage where we didn’t give a f**k anymore. We didn’t know what we were doing or why we were doing it. I didn’t give a f**k if it exploded in my head, you know what I mean.”

In the trailer for the documentary, MacGowan's sister Siobhan said that once he went on tour the Shane she knew never came back.

The documentary, which was produced by Johnny Depp and directed by Julien Temple, hits Irish cinemas today, December 4.

It looks at the life of the hard-living poet and singer from his childhood years until today. Big-name contributors include Johnny Depp, Bono, Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie, Elvis Costello and Gerry Adams.


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