Shane MacGowan’s widow reveals his rifle from 1916 is missing and likely stolen

Victoria Mary Clarke said the ‘historically significant’ rifle was used during the Easter Rising.

Shane MacGowan and Victoria Clarke
Shane MacGowan and Victoria Clarke (Liam McBurney/PA)

Shane MacGowan’s widow Victoria Mary Clarke has said the late musician’s rifle from the 1916 Easter Rising is missing and has “most likely been stolen”.

The Pogues frontman died in November 2023 aged 65 shortly after he was discharged from St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, ahead of his 66th birthday on Christmas Day.

His wife said the missing Lee–Enfield rifle was “historically significant” as it was used during the Irish rebellion against the British government.

It was on Easter Monday 1916 that the insurgents seized the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin and a proclamation was read out heralding the start of the insurrection against British rule.

On X, Clarke wrote: “Shane’s 1916 rifle has gone missing, most likely been stolen.

“It was a birthday gift to ⁦@ShaneMacGowan from a dear musician friend and it was used in the GPO so it was historically significant.”

MacGowan led The Pogues who became a household name after the release of their festive hit Fairytale Of New York in 1987.

Following his death, Clarke told the Brendan O’Connor Show on RTE Radio that she thought she was going to die after learning MacGowan was coming to the end of his life.

Discussing his last days, she said she had been giving him health drinks and trying alternative therapists, hypnotists and physios to try to help him.

She added: “He was putting up a really strong fight. He was trying very hard to breathe.

“He wasn’t ready to give up. He wasn’t ready to stop fighting – but his body did it for him.”