The Pogues’ Shane MacGowan prays for “peace and love” as he shares health update from hospital

The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan has shared a message praying for “peace and love” as he battles ongoing health issues.

The iconic frontman has been dealing with health issues since last year. He 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.

He shared a message to his fans on December 3, 2022, saying: “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.”


His wife, Victoria Clarke, has been keeping Pogues fans up to date with his condition by sharing frequent updates on her social media. On October 22, she posted a photo of MacGowan smiling from his hospital bed on her X/Twitter account, relaying the message he wanted to share. “Shane is praying for peace and love for everyone in the world” read the tweet.

She then followed up with another photo of the singer the following day with a caption that read: “Shane says thank you for your lovely messages and prayers!!!”

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.

His health later worsened when he caught shingles and the infection spread to his eye. He is still recovering from the illness.


The former frontman of The Pogues has experienced health issues recurrently over the last decade. This included a fracture to his pelvis in 2015, which led to him needing a wheelchair.

That same year — after years of oral health and dentistry complications — MacGowan also received a new set of teeth and titanium implants in his jaw. In 2016, MacGowan was hospitalised with hip pain, compounded by pneumonia.

In other news, Bruce Springsteen made a surprise visit to the frontman ahead of his shows in Ireland.

Shared in an update on Twitter, MacGowan’s wife captured an image of the two musicians during Springsteen’s visit. “What an amazing honour and a beautiful experience to get a visit from The Boss,” she wrote in the caption, tagging the two. “Such a truly wonderful man and a total genius!”