Johnny Depp was one of the main ‘celebrants’ as his close pal Shane MacGowan was cremated this afternoon.

The Hollywood star was among a handful of the Pogues’ singers inner circle to bid a final farewell to him after his funeral mass yesterday which was watched live on television around the world and by around 1500 inside the church service.

Johnny stood close to Shane’s widow Victoria Mary Clarke and the group hugged as Shane’s coffin was handed over to be cremated.

Tonight Shane’s ashes were being placed in the River Shannon.

Johnny was at the official wake until the early hours at the modest Thatched Cottage Pub in Bally Common with around 250 other mourners.

A source said :’Johnny has shown his love for Shane throughout his time in Ireland.

‘His respect for Shane has been there for all to see. At the wake he chatted with everyone who approached him. But he didn’t get up and sing with the celtic band.

‘Victoria is not surprised by the way Johnny has gone about things because she knows all about the affection he had for her husband.

The final act in Shane’s funeral took place at the Shannon Crematorium which is described as being set in a ‘tranquil setting.’

His wicker coffin was carried to its final resting place by undertakers from JJ Ryans funerals which is owned by Philly Ryan, Shane’s close friend.

Mr Ryan oversaw proceedings as the coffin was taken into the crematorium chapel and also drove the hearse.

Mr Depp had an emotional moment as he touched the coffin of his friend and Pogues lead singer, Shane MacGowan.

MacGowan, who died last week following a battle with pneumonia, is most well-known for the Christmas classic The Fairytale of New York, which is expected to reach Number One in the charts this season.

The Irish singer had been discharged from hospital over a week before after undergoing treatment for viral encephalitis, a condition in which swelling develops on the brain.

His funeral was held yesterday, December 8, on what would have been Sinead O’Connor‘s 57th birthday.

The service at Saint Mary of the Rosary Church in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was well-attended by celebrities such as Nick Cave, Bob Geldof and Depp.

Depp was joined by Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam O’Maonlai as they read the prayers of the faithful during the service.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean series star previously attended MacGowan’s wedding to Victoria Mary Clarke.

MacGowan’s coffin was brought to the front of the church draped in an Irish tricolour flag and placed close to a large black and white photograph of the Pogues singer.

Depp was seen patting the coffin to say goodbye to his old friend in an emotional scene.

Later, a group of men, including Depp, helped carry MacGowan’s coffin out of the service to huge applause.

Ms Clarke presented symbols of her late husband during the funeral mass which included a copy of a Johnny Depp album whom she called a ‘massive fan’ of The Pogues frontman.

She also said that her late husband ‘wouldn’t hold a grudge against anyone’ as she spoke to the massed crowd at his funeral.

Speaking to Hollywood actor Depp, she added ‘I hope you don’t mind’ before telling the mourners how her late husband ‘urged’ him to forgive Heard.

Ms Clarke said: ‘I hope you don’t mind me saying this Johnny, but when Johnny had a court case involving his ex-wife Amber and Shane had a long conversation with you, didn’t he, and urged you to forgive Amber.

‘He just thought it was the best thing to do, because he believed, genuinely in forgiveness.

‘And I’m sure you have by now – of course you have! Of course you have!’

Amber Heard was engaged in a series of blistering war of lawsuits she and Depp waged after their 15-month marriage disintegrated into a morass of back-and-forth abuse allegations.

Depp and his ex-wife eventually settled their defamation claims against each other in December after five years of furious legal battles.

Ms Clarke was pictured in tears as she grieved before the coffin was brought into the church.

In a tribute, she said that his death ‘took us all by surprise’ – as everyone ‘thought he’d come home’.

More than 30,000 people lined the streets and there was standing room only in the service. Police sealed off vast stretches of South Dublin to allow crowds to pay their respects to the star as his casket was driven through the city.

Former Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams gave an opening speech at the funeral, as he praised MacGowan’s ‘genius’ and said his music would live on ‘forever’. His words were greeted with applause and some cheers from those gathered.

Shane began his journey by horse-drawn carriage from South Lotts Road and travelled down Pearse Street and onto Westland Row, giving fans who loved him dearly the chance to say a final goodbye.

Mourners applauded as the funeral procession passed McMahon Bridge in Dublin, with the sounds of Fairytale of New York and A Rainy Night in Soho ringing out from a speaker in honour of the fallen musician.

Members of the public threw flowers and musicians played A Pair Of Brown Eyes as the funeral procession passed Sweny’s pharmacy in central Dublin, which featured in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Outside Sweny’s pharmacy in central Dublin, a group of musicians led mourners in a tearful rendition of Pogues’ Christmas classic, Fairytale Of New York.

Mourners, many holding photographs of Shane MacGowan, sang Dirty Old Town following his funeral procession through the streets of Dublin.

At one point, the funeral cortège paused on Westland Row as the Artane Band played his hit Christmas song Fairytale of New York.

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