Event finale featuring David Gray, Billy Bragg / Photo by Al Pereira

A St. Paddy’s Celebration of Sinéad O’Connor & Shane MacGowan at Carnegie Hall / March 20, 2024

David Gray, Glen Hansard, Cat Power, Dropkick Murphys, Imelda May, Steve Earle, Josh Ritter, Flogging Molly, Lisa Hannigan, Billy Bragg, Amanda Palmer, Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes, Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats, Bettye LaVette, Eugene Hütz of Gogol Bordello, Julia Cumming of Sunflower Bean, Kat Edmonson, and the Resistance Revival Chorus performed the songs of the late Sinéad O’Connor and Shane MacGowan at a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall on March 20.

Roison Waters / Photo by Al Pereira

The event, A St. Paddy’s Celebration of Sinéad O’Connor and Shane MacGowan, organized by City Winery, honored the legacies of Sinéad O’Connor and her friend and fellow musician Shane MacGowan, both whom died last year. The musicians covered many of MacGowan and O’Connor’s best-known songs over three hours and 22 songs. A few shared memories and stories of the two artists.

Roisin Waters (O’Connor’s daughter), Victoria Mary Clarke (MacGowan’s widow), and Suzanne Nossel (CEO of PEN America). The program continued with bagpipe music from Joe McGonigal of the St. Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band, based in Kearny, New Jersey.

Tony Shanahan, bassist in Patti Smith’s band, led the house band. Cait O’Riordan, the Pogues bassist, performed in the band.

Glen Hansard, Cait O’Riordan at rehearsal / Photo by Al Pereira

The highlights were numerous. Waters sang her mother’s most famous song, a cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” As he did during MacGowan’s funeral, Glen Hansard sang the Pogue’s best-known song, “Fairytale of New York,” with former Pogues member Cait O’Riordan. Hansard and Imelda May performed MacGowan and O’Connor’s duet, “Haunted.” The 12-member Resistance Revival Chorus showcased the politics in O’Connor’s work by inserting new lyrics into “Thank You for Hearing Me,” calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Ritter spoke briefly about the formative moment when a childhood friend introduced him to the music of the Pogues. Dropkick Murphys’ Ken Casey shared anecdotes about MacGowan, one of which involved the musician scrawling a series of profanities alongside his autograph on a rare 7” single.

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, contributed a letter that was included in the centerfold of the program. (Read President Higgins’ letter here.) The celebration supported the mission of PEN America with a donation of $65,000 to help the agency in its mission of advocating for freedom of speech worldwide. Amanda Palmer was the originator of the event. 

Many of the performers performed a night earlier at a live rehearsal show at City Winery NYC. Some of the performs returned to the stage at City Winery the following night during the afterparty.


(L-R) Julia Cummings, Billy Bragg at the afterparty / Photos by Ehud Lazin


Flogging Molly 

  • The Old Main Drag (The Pogues cover)

Steve Earle  

  • If I Should Fall from Grace with God (The Pogues cover)

Josh Ritter 

  • The Broad Majestic Shannon (The Pogues cover)

Imelda May 

  • This Is to Mother You (Sinéad O’Connor cover) (followed by a speech from Victoria Mary Clarke)
  • Haunted (The Pogues cover, with Glen Hansard)

Craig Finn   

  • Sally MacLennane (The Pogues cover, with John Darnielle)

Resistance Revival Chorus

  • Thank You for Hearing Me (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

Kat Edmonson  

  • In This Heart (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

Julia Cumming 

  • Success (Loretta Lynn cover)

Eugene Hütz  

  • The Church of the Holy Spook (Shane MacGowan and the Popes cover) (>) The Song With No Name (Shane MacGowan and the Popes cover) (> The Church of The Holy Spook)

Bettye LaVette 

  • I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

Gordon Gano

  • A Pair of Brown Eyes (The Pogues cover)

Amanda Palmer

  • Black Boys on Mopeds (Sinéad O’Connor cover, with Jack Palmer) (Speech beforehand)

Billy Bragg

  • A Rainy Night in Soho (The Pogues cover)

Lisa Hannigan

  • I Am Stretched on Your Grave (Scullion cover)

Dropkick Murphys

  • The Body of an American (The Pogues cover)

Cat Power

  • Feel So Different (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

David Gray

  • Three Babies (Sinéad O’Connor cover)

Roison Waters

  • Nothing Compares 2 U (Prince cover)

Glen Hansard

  • I’m a Man You Don’t Meet Everyday ([traditional] cover) (>) (Unknown Irish instrumental)
  • Fairytale of New York (The Pogues cover, with Cait O’Riordan, Imelda May and Roisin Waters)
  • Dirty Old Town (Ewan MacColl cover, with everyone from the concert)