Shane MacGowan defends Philomena Begley over accusations she 'butchered' Fairytale of New York

Shane MacGowan defends Philomena Begley over accusations she 'butchered' Fairytale of New York

SHANE MACGOWAN has come out in support of Philomena Begley after the Irish music legend was criticised for her performance of Fairytale of New York on The Late Late Show.

Begley appeared alongside MacGowan for a live rendition of The Pogues’ Christmas classic over on RTE One last Friday, December 14.

However, despite MacGowan’s own difficulties with the song, it was Begley who came in for the biggest criticism after appearing to forget the words to the festive favourite.

Part of an hour-long tribute to The Pogues frontman, many fans took to Twitter in the wake of the performance to criticise the Queen of Irish country music.

They hit out at the 77-year-old icon, who many felt “butchered” and “murdered” the song by failing to either remember or learn the words to a song known by millions.

MacGowan, however, has come out in support of Begley as part of a tweet issued by his wife Victoria Mary Clarke, thanking the veteran singer for her efforts.

Clarke, who was in attendance for the special edition of The Late Late Show, thanks Begley and added that she was the sole reason MacGowan agreed to sing the song.

She went on to reveal that Shane was a huge fan and that Begley had been a big influence on his work.

Clarke tweeted: I just want to thank  @PhilomenaBegley who is the reason why Shane sang #fairytaleofnewyork on @RTELateLateShow he has been a huge fan of hers for ever and @poguesofficial fans will know that she features in #apairofbrowneyes.

While some naysayers remained, the message did appear to strike a chord with some of Clarke’s followers.

“He chose to respect a hero of his, and she knew words weren't the most important thing, love was,” one wrote.

“Philomena Begley is a legend. Love her singing,” another added.

A third, meanwhile, simply wrote “two legends”.

Begley has yet to respond to the criticism of her performance.