The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan gives New Year’s health update


Shane MacGowan has shared a New Year’s message with fans and provided them with an update on his health.

The Pogues singer was hospitalised in early December with an infection but was released home in time for his birthday on Christmas Day and for the New Year celebrations.

In a video message sent from his home on Saturday (December 31), MacGowan said: “Hi friends, I’m sitting here suffering from encephalitis.

“The light is killing me,” he said in reference to why he was wearing sunglasses indoors, “but I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and Happy Christmas.”

Encephalitis is a rare condition that causes the brain to become swollen. It can be life-threatening and requires urgent treatment. Symptoms include loss of movement and difficulty speaking.

MacGowan continued, saying that he wished people “all the luck in the world and all the love. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year, love Shane”.

The musician was diagnosed with encephalitis last month but he then caught shingles and the infection spread to his eye. That led to him remaining in hospital for two weeks.

His wife Victoria Mary Clarke said in December that that she thought her husband was “a bit frustrated” by his latest stint in hospital. “He finds it very frustrating”, she told The Irish Mirror. “He wants to get out.”

Despite his frustrations, Clarke assured fans that she believed her husband would recover, telling them not to “get too worried” and that she’s “sure he’ll be fine.”

Shane MacGowan in 2014. Credit: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

MacGowan has experienced health issues on and off again over the last decade including a fracture to his pelvis in 2015 that necessitated the use of a wheelchair and left him with ongoing mobility issues.

The same year, after years of oral health and dentistry complications, he was fitted for a new set of teeth and titanium implants in his jaw. The following year, MacGowan was hospitalised with hip pain compounded by pneumonia.





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