‘A Change Maker’: Tributes Paid To The Late Sinéad O’Connor

She has sadly passed away, aged 56

sinead o'connor

Pic: VIP Ireland

Legendary singer Sinéad O’Connor has tragically passed away.

The 56-year-old’s family confirmed the sad news yesterday evening, releasing a statement, reading: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.”

The Dublin native rose to fame following her first album The Lion And The Cobra in 1987, which received critical acclaim.

She found enormous success with her second album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, which included the sensational hit, Nothing Compares 2 U.

The beloved track top the charts around the world, reaching number one in Ireland, the US, the UK, and many more.

Pic Sky

Sinéad received international recognition for her music, including a Brit Award for international female solo artist, 1991’s Artist Of The Year by Rolling Stone magazine, a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance, two Billboard Music Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards.

Overall she released ten albums throughout her career, and was also known for being outspoken on her social and political beliefs.

Most notably her strong stance against child abuse in The Catholic Church made headlines in 1992 when she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II on American series Saturday Night Live, in protest of clerical abuses.

The musician converted to Islam in 2016, changing her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat, but used her birth name professionally. She is survived by her three children, Jake, Roisin and Yeshua.

sinead o'connor

Pic: VIP Ireland

Tributes have poured in for the late artist, as fans and peers mourn.

President Michael D. Higgins released a statement, saying: “May I send my deepest condolences to Sinéad O’Connor’s father John, the members of her family and to all those with whom she shared her life. My first reaction on hearing the news of Sinéad’s loss was to remember her extraordinarily beautiful, unique voice. What was striking in all of the recordings she made and in all of her appearances was the authenticity of the performance, while her commitment to the delivery of the song and its meaning was total.

“To those of us who had the privilege of knowing her, one couldn’t but always be struck by the depth of her fearless commitment to the important issues which she brought to public attention, no matter how uncomfortable those truths may have been.

“What Ireland has lost at such a relatively young age is one of our greatest and most gifted composers, songwriters and performers of recent decades, one who had a unique talent and extraordinary connection with her audience, all of whom held such love and warmth for her.”

Pic: VIP Ireland

Continuing, he said: “The way in which she was able to move across the different forms of the arts was a singular achievement, as was the way her voice went around the world and how it was received. Her accomplishments included a body of work for film through the production of perfectly chosen and widely acclaimed lyrics.

“Sinéad O’Connor’s voice and delivery was in so many different ways original, extraordinary and left one with a deep impression that to have accomplished all she did while carrying the burden which she did was a powerful achievement in its own way.

“Her contribution joins those great achievements of Irish women who contributed to our lives, its culture and its history in their own unique but unforgettable ways. May her spirit find the peace she sought in so many different ways.”

Ryan Tubridy Sinéad O'Connor


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar took to Twitter writing: “Really sorry to hear of the passing of Sinéad O’Connor. Her music was loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare.

“Condolences to her family, her friends and all who loved her music. Ar dheis Dé go Raibh a hAnam.”

Former Late Late Show Ryan Tubridy host wrote on Instagram: “Like everyone, I’m devastated by the awful news about Sinéad. We spoke days ago and she was as kind, powerful, passionate, determined and decent as ever.

“This photo is from the night I went with my mum to see her in Vicar St. Rest in Peace Sinéad, you were ahead of your time and you deserve whatever peace comes your way.”

Canadian singer Bryan Adams, wrote on Twitter: “RIP Sinéad O’Connor, I loved working with you making photos, doing gigs in Ireland together and chats, all my love to your family.”

Comedian Dara O’Briain said on Twitter: “That’s just very sad news. Poor thing. I hope she realised how much love there was for her.”

Singer Samantha Mumba paid tribute on Instagram: “An Icon. A beautiful misunderstood soul. Seeing your face in all these little squares- we should have given you your flowers a long time ago. May your transition be peaceful with your Son by your side.”


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Comedian Aisling Bea shared her personal experience meeting Sinéad on Instagram: “How desperately sad the loss of Sinéad O’Connor is. For music and Ireland. I did the Late Late Show with her a few years ago, a classic Irish lineup of all sorts of us, but I’d like to think including some women making their own paths in their worlds and not ones likely to be told to be quiet.

“She was an absolute hero of mine and one of the few people I’ve ever been star struck by. I think she could tell because I became a chatty mess. She was dry and funny and kind and sharp and incredibly gentle. There’s a beautiful documentary out about her life now which is inspiring but also so desperately sad, not just because of what she went through but because of how she was treated, often by her own. She was vilified, humiliated at times, metaphorically crucified when alone and in her twenties.

“Everything she stood up for and against then, including racism in the music industry, has been proven to have been needed and right. She wasn’t just trying to look out for herself. She was the original truth sayer who wouldn’t go easy into the night. The original “difficult” woman who didn’t make it easy. Because easy wasn’t the right thing to do and it wasn’t the truth. Gone too soon. Nothing compares to you.”

Aisling Bea Sinéad O'Connor greg o'shea lewis Capaldi ryan tubridy


Journalist Maia Dunphy shared a photo of Sinéad on Instagram, writing: “Absolutely gutted. I wish you could have found a way to stay.”

TV Presenter Kathryn Thomas, said on Instagram: “RIP Sinead. A Poet, a maverick, a rule breaker, a change maker. Thank you for the music and always reminding us to stay true to who we are. Rest easy now.”

Actress Amy Huberman took to Instagram, and wrote: “Sinead, how lucky were we to have your talent, your voice, how courageous you were in speaking and owning your truth, especially at times when it was the most difficult thing to do. I’ll never forget seeing Sinead in Dun Laoghaire when I was a teenager hanging out with friends. We were speechless, so star struck, I couldn’t wait to get home to tell my mum I’d just seen Sinead O’Connor. So so heartbreaking for her family and friends.”

“I hope you are with your boy. Rest In Peace Sinead.”


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Actress and writer Sharon Horgan said on Instagram: “Oh this is terrible news. The worst. That voice. That insanely beautiful voice that could carry all the emotions in one line. Her bravery. Sinead was so loved by so many of us but she was also not treated well at all.

“I remember wanting her to do a song for a show I was making and being told she wasn’t right for their brand or whatever the fuck. I’m just feeling so angry about how she was treated. But over all just heart breakingly sad for her and her family.”
While actress Caitríona Balfe wrote: “I hope you are at peace … and with your baby boy. Thank you for sharing your soul with us and soothing us with your incredible voice beautiful Sinéad. RIP”

Australian actor, Russell Crowe took to Twitter. sharing his experience meeting Sinéad during his stay in Dublin last year.

“Last year, working in Ireland, having a pint in the cold outside a Dalkey pub with some new friends, a woman with purpose strode past us. Puffy parker zipped to the nape and her bowed head covered in a scarf. One of my new friends muttered an exclamation, jumped up and pursued the woman.

“Thirty metres down the road the friend and the woman embraced and he waived me over. There under streetlights with mist on my breath, I met Sinéad. She looked in my eyes, and uttered with disarming softness ‘oh, it’s you Russell’.

“She came with us back to the table and sat in the cold and ordered a hot tea. In a conversation without fences we roamed through the recent Dublin heatwave, local politics, American politics, the ongoing fight for indigenous recognition in many places, but particularly in Australia, her warm memory of New Zealand, faith, music, movies and her brother the writer. I had the opportunity to tell her she was a hero of mine.

“When her second cup was taking on the night air, she rose, embraced us all and strode away into the fog-dimmed streetlights. We sat there the four of us and variously expressed the same thing. What an amazing woman. Peace be with your courageous heart Sinéad,” Russel wrote on Twitter.

Our thoughts are with Sinéad’s family, friends, and loved ones at this difficult time.