Shane MacGowan’s widow worryingly reveals his rifle is missing and ‘was probably stolen’

Victoria Mary Clarke has expressed concerns that Shane MacGowan’s historic rifle has been stolen(Picture: Phillip Massey/FilmMagic)

Victoria Mary Clarke, widow of the legendary musician Shane MacGowan, has voiced concerns over the disappearance of her late husband’s historic rifle. 

MacGowan was the owner of a rifle from the 1916 Easter Rising, when the Irish rebelled against the British government, and Clarke suspects it may have been stolen. 

Expressing distress over the situation, Clarke confirmed that the rifle is missing and ‘most likely stolen,’ leaving a void in the legacy of the iconic The Pogues frontman.

MacGowan had recently been discharged from St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin just before his 66th birthday on Christmas Day when he passed away in November 2023.

His widow emphasized the historical significance of the missing Lee–Enfield rifle, noting its role in the Irish rebellion.

The 1916 Easter Rising holds a pivotal place in Irish history, marked by the insurgents’ seizure of the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin on Easter Monday, accompanied by the proclamation signaling the beginning of the rebellion against British authority.

Taking to X to address the disheartening news, 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.’

She followed up the post with another that read: ‘If anyone happens to see a rifle from 1916 with H Munn etched on the handle it belonged to ⁦@ShaneMacGowan and it was a gift from ⁦@glenhansard and it would be great to get it back! Thank you everyone for sharing.’

MacGowan and Clarke got married in 2018 after 11 years together (Picture: Getty Images)

Glen Hansard – an Irish singer-songwriter and musician who has been the frontman of the Irish rock band The Frames since 1990 – was a close friend of McGowan’s.

The Fairy Tale of New York singer’s legacy extends far beyond his involvement in The Pogues and outpourings of grief have continued from his friends, family, and fans alike. 

In the wake of his passing, Clarke opened up about her emotional journey of saying goodbye to her husband, recounting her experiences during MacGowan’s final days.

Clarke shared that the missing rifle is from the 1916 Easter Uprising (Picture: Shutterstock)

Speaking on the Brendan O’Connor Show on RTE Radio, Clarke shared her profound sense of loss, admitting that she feared for her own life upon realizing that MacGowan was nearing the end of his journey. 

Despite her efforts to support him through various treatments and therapies, MacGowan’s determination to fight was evident until the end, with Clarke recalling his valiant struggle to breathe and his unwillingness to surrender to his failing health.

Despite only marrying in 2018, Victoria and MacGowan were together for decades and had already been engaged for 11 years by the time they tied the knot.

Clarke has been very open about her journey through grief following the death of her late husband(Picture: Shutterstock)

Writing for The Mail following his death, she shared: ‘He looked very peaceful and there was an immediate atmosphere of grace in the hospital room.’

‘He was surrounded by thousands of angels in the moment of his passing and they filled us all with love and peace.’

On Christmas Day, which was also the Irish singer’s birthday, she posted an emotional update saying that she ‘[couldn’t] stop crying’ and wondered how others have gotten through important anniversaries after a person has died.

‘I just can’t stop crying and I want to be with him so much it physically hurts,’ she shared in a heartbreaking Instagram post.

The Pogues were comprised of Shane MacGowan, Cait O’Riordan, Andrew Rankin, Jem Finer, Spider Stacy, James Fearnley (Picture: Getty Images)

Victoria continued: ‘I don’t know how people get through this but I do know that they do and people do feel joy even after they lose their person.

‘Shane always said that even though he was born on Christmas Day he was much more focused on it being Jesus’s birthday and he felt like that was the most important thing about Christmas so I am asking for Jesus and the angels to help me today.’

In a more recent update, Clarke shared that she still feels ‘nudges’ and communications from her late husband from ‘the other side.’ 

‘I haven’t played my guitar since Shane died,’ she began in the post. ‘But last night while I was trying to watch TV I kept getting nudges from him to open the drawer of his desk.’

‘I kept trying to ignore the nudges and I tried to keep watching TV but something wouldn’t let me and I had to get up and open the drawer. Inside the drawer was a plectrum, so I picked it up and then I picked up the guitar.’

Victoria then gave details of what it felt like to start picking up the guitar again after so long, adding that MacGowan was sending her ideas from ‘the other side’ as she played.

‘I played a few chords and it genuinely felt like there was an energy that was coming through and making up a tune. Who knows what we are capable of from the other side?’

As Clarke grapples with the loss of her beloved husband, the disappearance of MacGowan’s rifle serves as a poignant reminder of the tangible connections to Ireland’s rich history that he cherished throughout his life. 

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