The extraordinary story of The Pogues and Shane MacGowan


We have collaborated with Hot Press, Ireland’s legendary music, entertainment and pop culture magazine, to create a special pop-up exhibition dedicated to The Pogues and Shane MacGowan. ‘They Gave The Walls A Talking’ illuminates the evolution of The Pogues, the rise of punk rock, and the role of the Irish diaspora on the British music scene – as well as the genesis of the marvellously iconic ‘Fairytale of New York’.

It features contributions from Victoria Mary Clarke, Siobhan MacGowan, Jem Finer, Nick Cave, Damien Dempsey, Cáit O’Riordan and the family of the late Frank Murray, the band’s original manager.

Dates  Tues 12th Dec 2023 – 18th March 2024.
Times  10am – 6.45pm (last entry 5pm).
Cost  Entry to exhibition is included in general admission tickets – BUY HERE 



We had, of course, hoped that Shane MacGowan would be there for the opening. Sadly, however, on 30 November, it was announced that Ireland’s great song-poet had died. When the news was confirmed, we decided to pause the opening.

However, it seems all the more appropriate now to celebrate the songs and the music of The Pogues and to reflect on how the band – and their legendary lead singer and songwriter – became so widely loved and admired.



The exhibition will make its United States premiere at the Bob Dylan Centre in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 8th March 2024. It will mark the center’s first special exhibit to focus on a musical artist other than Bob Dylan.

Steven Jenkins, Director of the Bob Dylan Center commented, “As a tribute to Shane, the band’s remarkable artistry and a celebration of Irish music and culture, we thought it was important to bring this exhibit to the United States in time for St. Patrick’s Day.”


They gave the walls a talking – and we listened in awe.

Shane MacGowan, RIP.



Niall Stokes is a music journalist who has served as editor of the long-running fortnightly Ireland music and political magazine Hot Press based in Dublin. He has edited the magazine since 1977. He has been a longstanding champion of Irish music, most famously U2 in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. He was Chairman of the Independent Radio and Television Commission (now the BCI) between 1993 and 1998 and has written several books, including Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every U2 Song.


Visit the exhibition at EPIC

This pop-up exhibition will be on display at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum from Tuesday, December 12th until March 18th 2024 – general museum admission tickets required.