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Johnny Depp gives speech at funeral of Shane MacGowan

Johnny Depp gives speech at funeral of Shane MacGowan

The actor, 60, paid tribute to his late pal Shane MacGowan at his funeral in County Tipperary

Johnny Depp joined hundreds of mourners and a string of music legends in Ireland today (8 December) as the world said goodbye to Shane MacGowan.

The Pogues frontman, 65, passed away on 30 November after being diagnosed with the life-threatening brain condition encephalitis, just after he had been discharged from hospital in time for Christmas.

His widow Victoria Mary Clarke later said that he had died of pneumonia, a condition he was routinely hospitalised with in the year leading up to his death, although he 'wasn't ready to stop fighting - but his body did it for him.'

Family, friends and fans of MacGowan lined the streets in Nenagh, County Tipperary, as his funeral got underway at the St Mary of the Rosary church on Friday (8 December).

The 'Fairytale of New York' hitmaker got the send off he deserved, with his family members dancing in the aisles between the pews as his classic Christmas tune played.

A host of famous faces also lined the rows, including his former bandmates from The Pogues, Bob Geldof, Game of Thrones actor Aidan Gillen, Aussie musician Nick Cave, former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Irish president Michael D Higgins.

Many of them stepped up to deliver touching tributes to MacGowan, both through music and words - while Bono, who is currently in the middle of a residency at Las Vegas' Sphere, appeared in a pre-recorded video to do a reading.

Fans, friends and mourners lined the streets for Shane MacGowan's funeral.
Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Johnny Depp also sent his pal on with a few words and read one of the Prayers of the Faithful focusing on peace, love and forgiveness, saying: "We pray for a deeper spirit of compassion in the world, yet we feel the pain of others.

"Understand their need and reach out to all who suffer in any way with the continuous love that is rooted in faith and peace."

The actor, donning a black suit, hat and scarf, also carried MacGowan's coffin during the poignant service which celebrated the late singer as a legendary poet, lyricist and trailblazer.

The unlikely duo have been friends for over 30 years, with Depp saying he simply 'fell in love with' the Dirty Old Town crooner as soon as he met him.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star said in 2020: "When I met Shane he was negotiating a pool table. There was a drink in this hand, a pint, and in this hand, there was a guitar.

"And he was teetering, balancing back and forth trying to negotiate which way to fall. I watched him do that for about 15 minutes. Then I was introduced to him, before he fell, and from that moment on you just knew...

"There are moments in life when you know this will happen one time and one time only, when you get the opportunity to spend time with greatness.

Sky News

"Having known him a long, long time I can only say I fell in love with him the second I met him and I'm still in love with him to this day."

Depp even sang at MacGowan's wedding with Clarke in Copenhagen in 2018 and described the couple as 'best friends' who managed to make it after 'many years under all kinds of duress'.

He also produced the 2020 documentary Crock of Gold – A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan, which gave fans a warts-and-all look at the singer's illustrious career in The Pogues and as a solo artist.

MacGowan publicly offered his support to Depp in an open letter last year while his defamation trial was underway, dubbing him the 'brother he never had' as well as a 'brilliant actor and a great musician'.

The awkward subject also got a mention while Clarke delivered her eulogy to her late husband, as she recalled how he had encouraged the Willy Wonka star to forgive his ex-wife Amber Heard.

She said: "I hope you don't mind me saying this Johnny, but when Johnny had a court case involving his ex-wife Amber, Shane had a long conversation with you, didn't he, and urged you to forgive Amber.

"He just thought it was the best thing to do because he believed genuinely in forgiveness."

She then smiled at Depp before adding: "And I'm sure you have [forgiven her] by now, haven't you? Course you have."

Featured Image Credit: X/ShaneMacGowan

Topics: Music, Johnny Depp, Ireland, Celebrity