Ed Sheeran’s beloved Irish grandmother has died.
Anne Mary Sheeran, née Mulligan, passed away at a nursing home in the Republic of Ireland last Tuesday.
She will be laid to rest on Wednesday after a funeral in St Patrick’s Church, Monaseed, Gorey.
The singer’s grandmother, who was known as Nancy, was remembered as a ‘beloved wife of the late Bill and loving mother of Jim, Bill, Peter, Chris, John, MaryAnne, Bridget and the late Sally and sister of the late Thomas, Jim, May and Peggy.
‘Deeply regretted by her loving sons, daughters, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, niece, nephews, relatives, friends and neighbours.’
Heartbroken: Ed Sheeran’s beloved Irish grandmother has died
RIP: Anne Mary, who has known as Nancy, Sheeran née Mulligan, from Gorey, passed away peacefully at Castle Gardens Nursing Home in Enniscorthy last Tuesday
Nancy, from Gorey in County Wexford, was the source of inspiration behind his hit Nancy Mulligan, one of the singer’s most personal songs from his 2017 album, Divide.
She died at Castle Gardens Nursing Home in Enniscorthy last week.
It tells the story of how his late grandfather William Sheeran, a Protestant from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Nancy, a Catholic from the Republic of Ireland, met, fell in love during the Second World War and got married at the Wexford border.
Ed, 32, previously said of the story behind the song: ‘They got engaged and no one turned up at their wedding.
‘He stole all the gold teeth in his dental surgery and melted them down into a wedding ring, and they wore borrowed clothes to get married, and just basically have this kind of Romeo and Juliet romance, which is like the most romantic thing. So I thought I’d write a song about it and make it a jig.’
Nancy and William went on to have eight children and 23 grandchildren.
When the song was released a sweet video emerged of Nancy listening to the song for the first time back in 2017.
The then 92-year-old told RTE News: ‘I’ll never think of him as being famous, I have to say. He’s exactly the same as he always is when he visits.
‘And it’s very rare because he’s always working and when you think he was working from the age of 14, you’d have to feel sorry for him, you know he’s so tired but he loved it.’
Her story: Ed’s grandmother was the source of inspiration behind his hit Nancy Mulligan, one of the singer’s most personal songs from his 2017 Divide
Storyteller: It comes as Ed’s wife Cherry Seaborn revealed he wrote seven tracks in only four hours after discovering her cancer diagnosis
Ed had closed bonds with both of his grandmothers and wrote Supermarket Flowers in 2017 about his late maternal grandmother.
The singer visited his terminally ill grandmother’s bedside almost daily during her final months.
In 2020, Ed revealed he is still pals with many of the National Health Service staff at the Aldeburgh Hospital in Suffolk, who took such good care of his grandmother until her death.
He said: ‘I was lucky enough not to be on tour during my grandmother’s final months, and because I lived locally I was able to visit her every few days.
‘The care she received was incredible; the people who worked there so lovely, compassionate, funny and caring.
‘When she passed away I wrote a song called Supermarket Flowers about the situation. The verse lyrics are about packing up her room at that hospital.
‘Me and my family became very close to the nurses who worked there and my mum is still in touch with them now. I see them from time to time when I’m in the area and it’s like meeting old friends.’
It comes as Ed’s wife Cherry Seaborn, 30, revealed he wrote seven tracks in only four hours after discovering her cancer diagnosis.
Last month, the global hitmaker disclosed his wife was diagnosed with a tumour during her pregnancy with their second child.
Although the singer and his childhood sweetheart kept the pregnancy secret at the time, he told his Instagram followers that the couple were plagued with ‘fear, depression and anxiety’ because Cherry was diagnosed with a tumour that could not be treated until after she had given birth.
But now, in a new Disney+ special set to air on May 3, the couple bare all.
In the new documentary, she said: ‘Long story short, I got diagnosed with cancer at the start of the year, which was a massive s**tter, but it made me massively reflect on our mortality.’
On battling cancer, she added: ‘I was saying to Eds, I’d never have agreed to do anything like this before — never, ever, ever — but it made me think this whole year, if I died, what’s people’s perception of me?
‘What am I going to leave behind? It genuinely wasn’t until this year when I was just like, “I might die”.
‘We had the diagnosis of the tumour and the next day Eds went down into the basement and wrote seven songs in four hours.
‘Some people write a diary and get their emotions out through the pen and, for Eds, if something really intense happens, he’ll go and write a song.’
Ed explained: ‘Music’s always been like therapy to me. It was a way to get my thoughts and feelings down as a kid, and it works. It really works.’