Sunday 25 February 2018

'It means a lot' - Shane MacGowan acknowledges support after death of his mother in crash

Pogues singer Shane MacGowan with his mother Therese, at the family home where he grew up, in 1997. She died in a crash yesterday Photo: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images
Pogues singer Shane MacGowan with his mother Therese, at the family home where he grew up, in 1997. She died in a crash yesterday Photo: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

Barry Duggan and Melanie Finn

SINGER Shane MacGowan has thanked people for their support after his mother was killed in a car crash on New Year's Day.

Therese MacGowan (87) died when the car she was driving struck a wall in Tipperary.

Her son, Shane, was lead singer and songwriter of The Pogues. He turned 59 on Christmas Day.

Shane's partner, Victoria Mary Clarke, took to Twitter on Monday evening to thank people for their support.

"Shane MacGowan would like to say thank you and God bless to all the people who are offering kind words and condolences," she wrote.

"It means a lot".

Earlier she said that people were "being overwhelmingly lovely and kind, it is amazing. Thank you"

One theory being investigated is that Shane's mother suffered a heart attack before the car collided with the wall on the outskirts of Nenagh, Co Tipperary at 3pm yesterday.

Mrs MacGowan and her husband, Maurice, lived in Silvermines, Co Tipperary.

Shane spent part of his childhood growing up in north Tipperary.

The clip above is taken from a BBC documentary(1997) about Shane Macgowan. Shane is filmed while drinking in a pub, when suddenly, he starts singing. The lady singing the same song as Shane is Therese Macgowan, Shane's mother.

She was the only occupant of the Toyota Avensis which struck a wall at Ballintoher on the outskirts of the town.

Officers from Nenagh garda station are investigating and the road was closed off yesterday to allow forensic collision officers investigate.

Mrs MacGowan was pronounced dead at the scene and her body was taken to University Hospital Limerick for a post-mortem examination.

Locals in Silvermines were left reeling at the death last night. "They were very private people. It is a very sad start for all here and Shane's family," a local said.

Local Labour TD Alan Kelly said it was a terrible tragedy for the area.

"Along with her husband, they are held in high regard with great affection," he said.

"She will be sorely missed by all the people in Silvermines and surrounds.

"She was someone who was greatly respected and liked by all who knew her.

"Having to start off the new year with this awful tragedy, we are all thinking of the MacGowan family at this time and all their neighbours as well," Mr Kelly said.

Therese is from Tipperary while her husband, Maurice MacGowan, is from Dublin.

The couple moved to England and Shane was born in Kent in 1957.

They returned home to north Tipperary where Shane spent much of his childhood growing up. He also has one sister, Siobhan.

Investigating gardaí in Nenagh are appealing for witnesses to the collision.

Shane MacGowan was last spotted in Dublin a fortnight ago when he attended a homelessness charity event for Focus Ireland.

MacGowan credits Therese for inspiring him to get involved in music - she was an award-winning folk singer when she was younger.

"I came from a musical family, and we always sang and most people played an instrument," he said in the 2001 documentary, 'If I Should Fall From Grace'.

"My mother won loads of medals and cups for singing, dancing and singing in Irish as well."

The family moved to London from Tipperary when Shane was seven years old.

But they made sure to keep their Irish traditions alive and brought him home as often as possible.

After returning to Ireland from the UK, Therese worked as a typist.

"It was very, very difficult to get employment in Ireland," Therese said in the documentary.

"We tried to keep Shane as much as possible in Ireland when he was young," she added.

In an interview included in the book 'Shane MacGowan: London Irish Punk Life and Music', Therese told how she and Shane would always sing in the family home.

"Every weekend, sometimes even in the middle of the week, we'd have music...dancing on the old kitchen floor.

"And so Shane absorbed all that wonderful traditional culture at a formative age," she said.

The Irish Independent last week revealed that 187 people were killed on Irish roads in 2016 and 162 in 2015.

Irish Independent

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