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A few bars from Shane behind bars.

We always suspected rock rebel Shane MacGowan's wild ways could see him end up behind bars.

But it's happening sooner than expected for the former leader of The Pogues.

MacGowan and his new group The Popes are to play a unique Christmas party in the high security Portlaoise prison later this month.

The hard-living singer will perform in front of some of the country's most notorious prisoners on Saturday, December 20.

Several well-known terrorists are housed there. Dessie O'Hare, known as The Border Fox, is incarcerated in the basement, while Eugene "Dutchy" Holland was taken there last week to begin his 20-year drug sentence.

A spokesperson for MacGowan said: "Shane has wanted to play in a prison for years. He first got the idea when he became pally with Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four after he was released from jail.

"He had intended to play in a British jail, but eventually decided to do Portlaoise because he considers himself Irish."

Approaches were made to the prison authorities who told MacGowan and his pals they'd love to have them play there.

But the big question is: Where is Shane going to get a drink in Portlaoise prison?

Meanwhile, MacGowan and The Popes are to play their annual pre-Christmas show in the Point Theatre on Thursday,December 18.

With The Pogues now disbanded, MacGowan is once again being hailed as a songwriting genius with the release of his new album Crock Of Gold, which features a song called Paddy Public Enemy No 1 about murdered IRA man Dominic McGlinchey.

There are rumours that the gravel-voiced star and his band may be lining up a big Dublin date for St Patrick's Day.

MacGowan has traditionally played a London gig every Paddy's Day, but has told pals he would like to perform in Ireland for a change next year.

Carrie will make it a grand National

Eurovision host Carrie Crowley, who is currently gracing our screens in RTE's new health show Pulse, is to present this year's National Entertainment Awards in the National Concert Hall.

The televised show, just after Christmas, is one of the highlights of the showbiz year. Previous award winners include U2, Daniel O'Donnell and Gay Byrne.

Carrie, pictured, could be re-united with her Eurovision co-host Ronan Keating on the night. We hear the Boyzone heart-throb is being lined- up to present one of the awards.

Fresh start for Revelino

Dublin rockers Revelino will be strutting their stuff in Whelans tomorrow night.

It will be the group's first gig with their new drummer Norman Hunt, formerly of The Bollock Brothers (don't hold that against him).

The boys are currently working on tracks for their third album and the good news for fans is that bass player Monty has reversed his recent decision to quit the line-up.

Wongs get it right at pounds 1m

Wongs of Clontarf - Boyzone's favourite Chinese restaurant - have spent nearly pounds 1million on a total refurbishment of the premises.

Several of the group members are regular visitors to the busy eaterie, and earlier this year all five went there, ordered a takeaway and ate it in the nearby St Anne's Park.

Twink finds

new Frendz

New teen band Frendz have been invited by panto queen Twink to appear in her Rockinson Crusoe show in the Olympia this Christmas.

The trio - Danny, Ian and Tommy - are all accomplished singers and dancers, and describe their sound as hip-pop.

But I wonder how they'll get on with Dustin The Turkey?

Stars to shine at film ball

Big names in the Irish film industry will be letting their hair down at the Guinness Film Ball in Ardmore Studios tonight.

Ballykissangel stars Dervla Kirwan and Tony Doyle, actor Brendan Gleeson and producer Morgan O'Sullivan will see movie- maker John Boorman receive a special award.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Taylor, Richie
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 5, 1997
Words:632
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