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Thousands of people lined the streets of Dublin on Friday to say goodbye to The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan as his coffin wound through the Irish capital before a funeral attended by family, neighbors and friends including Johnny Depp and Nick Cave

He became an Irish cultural icon, and Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins was among hundreds of people who packed St. Mary of the Rosary Church in the town of Nenagh for the funeral Mass.

Victoria Mary Clarke, wife of Shane MacGowan, pays respects to his coffin as it arrives for the funeral of Shane MacGowan, at Saint Mary's of the Rosary Church, Nenagh, Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.
Victoria Mary Clarke, wife of Shane MacGowan, pays respects to his coffin as it arrives for the funeral of Shane MacGowan, at Saint Mary’s of the Rosary Church, Nenagh, Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
The funeral procession of Shane MacGowan arrives at Saint Mary’s of the Rosary Church, Nenagh, Ireland, ahead of his funeral, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Damien Eagers/PA via AP)

Mourners at the service, in MacGowan’s ancestral home county of Tipperary some 160 kilometres southwest of Dublin, included former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Irish actor Aidan Gillen, who both gave readings.

There was also a recorded reading from Bono of U2.

Father Pat Gilbert welcomed “the world of people this great man influenced, encouraged, entertained and touched” to the service, which was broadcast live on television and online.

The priest said MacGowan’s “raw, vibrant, energetic, earthy soul-filled expression gave us hope and heart and hankering.”

Johnny Depp arrives for the funeral of Shane MacGowan at Saint Mary's of the Rosary Church, Nenagh, Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023
Johnny Depp arrives for the funeral of Shane MacGowan at Saint Mary’s of the Rosary Church, Nenagh, Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023 (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
Nick Cave arrives for the funeral of Shane MacGowan, at Saint Mary’s of the Rosary Church, Nenagh, Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

At the front of the Catholic church, the singer’s casket was heaped with red roses, alongside a black-and-white photo of a youthful MacGowan.

Friends and bandmates carried up symbols of MacGowan’s life, including a Led Zeppelin record, a copy of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, a DVD of The Godfather, a statue of the Virgin Mary and a Buddha.

“Shane was a lover of all religions,” his widow Victoria Mary Clarke said.

Musicians including Cave and Imelda May performed several of MacGowan’s songs during the service.

A young boy wearing a Pogues sweatshirt watches on as the funeral procession of the late music singer Shane MacGowan takes place on December 8, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
The funeral procession of the late music singer Shane MacGowan takes place on December 8, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland. (Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Depp, a friend of the musician, was among those who helped lead the prayers.

Earlier crowds, gathered under rainy skies, applauded as a horse-drawn glass-sided carriage bore MacGowan’s coffin, draped in an Irish tricolor flag, through the streets of Dublin.

A marching band struck up Fairytale of New York, The Pogues’ most famous song, and groups of people sang other tunes made famous by the band, including Dirty Old Town, a standard recorded by The Pogues in the 1980s.

Many mourners said they had vivid memories of the band’s rowdy performances.

Tomas, no surname given, who travelled from Sweden to attend the funeral, stands on Westland Row as the funeral procession of Shane MacGowan makes its way through the streets of Dublin, ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.
Tomas, no surname given, who travelled from Sweden to attend the funeral, stands on Westland Row as the funeral procession of Shane MacGowan makes its way through the streets of Dublin, ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Liam McBurney/PA via AP)
The funeral procession of Shane MacGowan makes its way through the streets of Dublin, ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.
The funeral procession of Shane MacGowan makes its way through the streets of Dublin, ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Liam McBurney/PA via AP)

“It is imprinted in my mind forever, just the madness and mayhem, the raucous nature of his singing and the music they were playing,” said Aidan Grimes, 60.

“Through the years he evolved into a great poet and he will be sadly missed.”

Darragh McColgan, from Dublin, said MacGowan “was representative to me of what being Irish is.”

“(This) will be a day we knew was coming but it won’t be easy to deal with because of what a big impact he was,” McColgan said.

Crowds line the streets by Grand Canal dock as they wait for the funeral procession of Shane MacGowan to make its way through the streets of Dublin ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.
Crowds line the streets by Grand Canal dock as they wait for the funeral procession of Shane MacGowan to make its way through the streets of Dublin ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)
John Farrell outside Shelbourne Park Stadium in waits for the funeral procession of Shane MacGowan to makes its way through the streets of Dublin ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023.
John Farrell outside Shelbourne Park Stadium in waits for the funeral procession of Shane MacGowan to makes its way through the streets of Dublin ahead of his funeral in Co Tipperary, in Ireland, Friday, Dec. 8, 2023. (Liam McBurney/PA via AP)

Born in England to Irish parents, MacGowan emerged from London’s punk scene to found The Pogues, who melded Irish folk and rock ‘n’ roll into a unique, intoxicating blend.

MacGowan became as famous for his sozzled, slurred performances as for his powerful songwriting, which captured the pain and joy of hardscrabble lives and the Irish emigrant experience.

Several of his songs have become classics, including Streams of Whisky, A Pair of Brown Eyes, If I Should Fall from Grace with God and the bittersweet Christmas ballad Fairytale of New York.

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