By Pierce O’Reilly
Tributes and messages of appreciation to Kristy MacColl have being flowing in over the Christmas break after her tragic death last week in Mexico. Speaking from their London home, Victoria Mary Clarke, wife of Irish rock singer Shane MacGowan, said they were shocked and deeply upset when they heard the news midweek.
"Our good friend Jock Scott called from Scotland to tell us and we couldn’t believe what had happened, Clarke said. "We both met Kirsty just a short while back and ever since the release of ‘Fairytale of New York’ in 1987, we’ve remained good friends. Our hearts goes out to her family at this time."
The 41-year-old star, who hit the headlines with MacGowan and the Pogues in 1987, was swimming in the ocean on Tuesday, Dec. 19, when she was run over by a speedboat. It’s reported this week that the speedboat that struck her may have been traveling illegally in an area reserved for swimmers. The driver of the boat was held by police but has since been released on bail.
"Fairytale of New York" is one of the most popular and successful Christmas singles ever. In the U.S. bars and disco’s all over the East coast paid tribute to the singer over the weekend as they continued to play the world-renowned single.
MacColl was in the holiday resort of Cozumel, Mexico, with her two sons when the accident happened. MacColl, an experienced diver, was in the water with her two children at the time. Both sons escaped without injury. Her former husband, Steve Lillywhite, flew to Mexico to be with the children during the week.
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MacColl’s solo career started when she split from punk band Drug Addix. The daughter of folk singer Ewan MacColl, she is best known for her 1987 Christmas hit with The Pogues, "Fairytale of New York," and the hit single "There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis."
MacColl had planned to spend the Christmas with her family. In the U.S., Public Radio International’s daily news program, "The World," had a four-minute-long appreciation of MacColl at the end of a recent broadcast.