Máire Brennan’s wonderful tribute to Shane McGowan – ‘He was really, really special’

By Diarmaid Doherty

Clannad singer Máire Brennan has said the songs of Shane McGowan will live on forever.

Tributes have been pouring in following the passing of the legendary Pogues frontman.


And Máire Brennan has offered her own memories of a singer-songwriter – someone she said who was really, really special.

“He was a game-changer, he really was, and the fact that he brought punk and the Irish (music) together. So many people all around the world were influenced by what The Pogues did and what he did. 

“He was really, really special and his songwriting was amazing”

Speaking on RTE Radio’s News at One programme just hours after the death was announced of McGowan, the Donegal musician said the first time she saw The Pogues, she was completely enthralled by their frontman.

“Apart from the fact that when you looked at him, you thought – this guy’s mad. He just didn’t care, he was out there.

“He loved his Irishness. I had the privilege of being in Dingle at a Rose of Tralee and he was getting up to sing with Sharon Shannon.

“I was there too and he looked at me and said, ‘Come on, you’re coming on stage’. I got the privilege of singing Fairytale of New York with him. Those are amazing memories.”


It wasn’t the only time the two performed together. They dueted on the song ‘You’re the One’ which was written for the soundtrack of the film Circle of Friends

“I loved him and I got on so well with him,” she told RTÉ.

“I went in to see him in the hospital in the summer.

“I went again when I came back from the Clannad tour in October. He was in great cheer and he was hoping to get back for Christmas.”

She added: “He was very special.

“His poetry and his songwriting were really and truly extraordinary. They are songs that will live forever.”

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