New Book on Kirsty MacColl’a Life To Be Released

Written by on April 16, 2008

Sun On the Water, a book on the life of singer/songwriter Kirsty MacColl, best known for her duet with The Pogues, “Fairytale of New York,” will be officially released on Monday, April 21st. It was written by her mother, Jean Newlove (as Jean MacColl), as part of the “Justice for Kirsty” campaign.

Sun on the Water

Many of us know about the circumstances surrounding her death while on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico in 2000; her family has been fighting for a fair trial against Guillermo González Nova, the millionaire owner of Mexican supermarket chain Comercial Mexicana and owner of the boat that hit Kirsty MacColl while speeding illegally in a designated scuba diving area. One of Nova’s employees took the fall for a total of about $3,000 (USD).

There has since been reports of conflicting eyewitness accounts as to who was driving, whether the “fall guy” received big bucks for taking the blame for Nova and a federal prosecutor in Cozumel found liable on “breach of authority” charges from his handling of the case.

The MacColl family continues to fight on and has been in contact with Mexican officials and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Here is an excerpt of a message from Joan MacColl on the Justice For Kirsty website:

I am not asking for a jail sentence, simply an admission of guilt which seems to be beyond their powers or a new trial and full investigation with new witnesses. This latter seems umlikely. Too risky, perhaps for Gonzalez?
So, much as I don’t want it (and neither do they), the court of Human Rights seems the only solution. Perhaps Gonzalez should reflect on how his behaviour to escape blame has led to shaming his country. I have no time for the judiciary’s quandary. Thank you all for still being engaged in the fight as it starts its eighth year.
The book still has a last page empty for an acceptable resolution.

Fans and friends of Kirsty MacColl can also donate to the cause through the “Justice for Kirsty” website.


While, as stated before, MacColl is known to most American 80s fans as the female singer in “Fairytale of New York,” she had several chart hits in the UK and Ireland from 1979 onward. One song, “They don’t Know,” became a bigger hit when performed by British Comedienne-turned-singer Tracey Ullman (whose video featured a cameo appearance by Paul McCartney). McColl had also worked with such artists as Big Country, Talking Heads and The Smiths.

More information on the book and the Justice for Kirsty campaign can be found on the official website. Joan MacColl plans to hold a special book release event in Britain on Monday, April 21st.

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