How did Kirsty MacColl die? Inside the tragic death of the Fairytale Of New York singer

Kirsty’s death taints Fairytale of New York with tragedy (Picture: Hayley Madden/Redferns)

With Christmas fast approaching, it won’t be long until you hear The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York everywhere.

First released in 1987, the song has remained the UK’s favourite Christmas song for over 30 years with its boozing and swearing.

And there’s nothing the British public love more than belting it out after one too many eggnogs.

At the heart of the ballad is Kirsty MacColl, the talented British singer and songwriter who duetted with The Pogues on the festive hit and immortalised the iconic line: ‘Merry Christmas your a***, I pray God it’s our last.’

However, the song carries a sense of tragedy with it, following the unspeakable death of Kirsty in the year 2000.

When did Kirsty MacColl die?

Kirsty was tragically killed during a holiday in Mexico with her two teenage sons, Jamie and Louis, and partner James Knight.

The 41-year-old had been working solidly on her music for a year and a half prior to the trip and was looking forward to relaxing with her family and introducing her boys to the joys of scuba diving.

A young Kirsty (Picture: Fin Costello/Redferns)

How did Kirsty MacColl die?

Kirsty and her family had been enjoying a holiday on Conzumal Island in Mexico when she took part in a scuba diving trip off the coast with a qualified instructor.

While the area was deemed safe to dive in and boats were banned from entering the waters, the singer was surfacing from the deep with her sons when she noticed a 10 metre powerboat heading towards them.

Shoving one son out of the way while grabbing another to protect him, Kirsty was struck by the boat’s propellor and tragically died instantly on the impact, ‘her body nearly sliced in half.’

Kirsty is remembered for her incredible voice and charm (Picture: Ian Dickson/Redferns)

Who was found guilty of Kirsty MacColl’s death?

The boat was owned by Guillermo Conzalez Nova, a Mexican supermarket magnate who was on board the boat with his family.

Despite boathand Jose Cen Yam saying that he was steering the boat at the time, witness accounts stated that this wasn’t the case.

He was found guilty of culpable homicide for his role in Kirsty’s death and was sentenced to just under three years in prison; however, he never served a day and instead paid 1034 pesos (about £40) to the Mexican government and $2150 (£1660) to Kirsty’s family.

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