Inside the heartbreaking death of Fairytale of New York singer Kirsty MacColl

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Whether it's blasting out at a drunken office party or blaring out on the radio on the drive home for Christmas, Fairytale of New York continues to hold major cultural significance.

With Shane McGowan's slurring form of singing and Kirsty MacColl's raspy vocals, the 1987 song arguably remains the nation's best-loved Christmas song.

But Kirsty, who duetted with The Pogues on the famous track, never got to truly see the global impact of the song.

In 2000, tragedy struck when she died in a horror incident.

The British singer, who was 41 at the time, was holidaying in Mexico with her two sons, James and Louis, and her partner James Knight.

Kirsty had been in the studio for a year and half prior to the trip working on new music, so the vacation was to act as a period of relaxation for herself and her family.

The singer and her family had been enjoying the sun, sea and sand on Conzumal Island in Mexico when she partook in a scuba driving trip off the coast with a qualified instructor.

The area had been deemed safe to dive in and boats were banned from entering the waters.

However, when Kirsty was surfacing from the sea after looking at the marine life with her sons, she noticed a 10 metre powerboat heading towards them.

Kirsty pushed one of her sons out of the path of the speedboat and grabbed the other to protect him, and she was struck by the propellor of the powerboat.

She tragically died on impact on December 18 2000.

The boat was owned by one of Mexico's wealthiest businessmen Guillermo Gonzáles Nova.

Boathand Jose Cen Yam said that he was steering the boat at the time, however, witness accounts stated that this was not the case.

He was found guilty of culpable homicide for his role in Kirsty's death and he was sentenced to just under three years in prison.

He never served a day behind bars and instead paid 1034 pesos (approximately £40) tp the Mexican government and $2150 (£1615) to Kirsty's family.

Following her untimely death, Kirsty's mother Jean MacColl embarked on a legal battle to bring Nova, whom she believed was responsible for her daughter's death, to justice.

The Justice for Kirsty campaign raised funds through Kirsty's devastated fans.

However in 2009, having exhausted all legal avenues, Jean brought her fight to an end.

Speaking to the Guardian, she shared: "It felt dishonest to go on, to keep asking for money, when we don't feel we've got a chance."

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