Mourners gather in Ireland to bid farewell to Sinead O’Connor

Large crowds of people have lined a coastal road in Ireland to pay their respects to Sinead O’Connor, the gifted singer and lifelong activist who died last week.

Fans on Tuesday left handwritten notes and flowers outside O’Connor’s former home in Bray, County Wicklow, thanking her for sharing her voice and her music. One sign listed causes that the superstar singer, who converted to Islam in 2018, had expressed support for, including welcoming refugees.“Thanks for your short special life,” one note read. “Gone too soon.”

“She was so rebellious and empowering and inspiring, and my mother hated me listening to her music,” said Ruth O’Shea, who had come to Bray, south of the capital, Dublin, with her two daughters.

“She was just brilliant. Brilliant – I loved her, and then the kids, I suppose by osmosis because I played her when they were both growing up, they’d go, ‘Oh God, mum’s listening to Sinead O’Connor, she’s obviously had a rough day.’ She just gave me hope. And I just loved her, I loved her.”

O’Connor, 56, was found unresponsive at her London home on July 26. Police have not shared a cause of death, though they said her death was not suspicious.

O’Connor’s family invited the public to line the waterfront as her funeral procession passed by, following a private service.

“Sinead loved living in Bray and the people in it,” her family said in a statement. “With this procession, her family would like to acknowledge the outpouring of love for her from the people of Wicklow (county) and beyond, since she left … to go to another place.”O’Connor, a multi-octave mezzo-soprano of extraordinary emotional range who was recognisable by her shaved head, began her career singing on the streets of Dublin and soon rose to international fame.

She became a sensation in 1990 with her cover of Prince’s ballad Nothing Compares 2 U, which topped charts from Europe to Australia.

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