Sinead O’Connor funeral: Thousands line streets of Bray as singer is laid to rest | Ents & Arts News


Sinead O’Connor has been remembered as a singer and activist whose “voice moved a generation of young people”, as stars including U2’s Bono and Bob Geldof attended her funeral and thousands of mourners lined the streets to pay their respects.

The music star’s life was celebrated at a private ceremony before the funeral cortege travelled past her former home in Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland, so fans could say farewell.

As the hearse bearing O’Connor‘s coffin made its way along the seafront, fans clapped and cheered, throwing flowers on to the car, while her music played out from a camper van decorated with the Pride flag and the Rastafarian flag.

Bob Geldof rides in a taxi as part of the funeral cortege for Sinead O'Connor as the procession passes through her former hometown of Bray, Co Wicklow, ahead of a private burial service. Picture date: Tuesday August 8, 2023.
Bob Geldof was among the mourners at Sinead O’Connor’s funeral

A hearse carrying the coffin of late Irish singer Sinead O'Connor passes near her former home during her funeral procession as fans line the street to say their last goodbye to her, in Bray, Ireland, August 8, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Ireland’s president Michael Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were in attendance alongside Bono and Geldof at the private ceremony.

Muslim prayers at the service were led by Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, an Islamic scholar and Chief Imam at the Islamic Centre of Ireland; he first met the star in 2018, the year she announced she had converted to Islam.

She continued to perform and record as Sinead O’Connor, but had changed her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat.

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2019 footage of surprise Sinead O’Connor show

An ‘otherworldly resonance’

“The more she sang and spoke about her own pain, as well as about the pervasive sins in society that she witnessed, the more her voice and her words resonated with listeners and touched their hearts,” Dr Umar Al-Qadri said in his eulogy.

“Gifted with a voice that moved a generation of young people, she could reduce listeners to tears by her otherworldly resonance.”

Fans of singer Sinead O'Connor line the streets for a "last goodbye" to the Irish singer as her funeral cortege passes through her former hometown of Bray, Co Wicklow, ahead of a private burial service. Picture date: Tuesday August 8, 2023. PA Photo. Grammy-winning O'Connor, 56, was found unresponsive by police at her south-east London home on July 26. See PA story FUNERAL OConnor. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
A cat stands alongside floral tributes left outside the former home of Sinead O'Connor in Bray, Co Wicklow, ahead of the late singer's funeral today. Picture date: Tuesday August 8, 2023.
Flowers have been left outside the musician’s former home in Bray

He added: “I know that peoples of all faiths throughout the world will be praying for this beloved daughter of Ireland, among them will be countless Muslims praying for their sister in faith and humanity.

“Sinead’s voice carried with it an undertone of hope, of finding one’s way home. The Irish people have long found solace in song from the sufferings of this lower abode, and Sinead was no exception, and in sharing that solace, she brought joy to countless people the world over.”

Fans started gathering in Bray early on Tuesday morning to wait for O’Connor’s funeral cortege to pass by.

Read more:
Day of tributes and mourning – as it happened
Unapologetic and impossible to ignore: The life of Sinead O’Connor
Story of star’s other Prince cover after vow to ‘never sing another’
Beyond compare: The tributes to Sinead O’Connor

A colourful tribute to a colourful life as Ireland says goodbye

David Blevins - Senior Ireland correspondent

David Blevins

Senior Ireland correspondent


In a kaleidoscope of emotions, Sinead O’Connor’s fans from Ireland and beyond painted her funeral with love.

Neon signs with cherished lyrics and rainbow-hued bouquets adorned the promenade at Bray in county Wicklow, reflecting the diversity she championed.

Each tribute held meaning, mirroring the emotions her music stirred in the hearts of those who’d gathered outside her house.

Handwritten letters expressed gratitude for the solace and strength her songs provided.

Amid the anecdotes, songs of resilience filled the air, sung by anonymous voices united by her art.

The sense of her contribution to the lives of those who felt marginalised in a former Ireland was palpable.

This colourful symphony celebrated Sinead O’Connor as not just an artist, but a guiding presence in so many lives.

She was, in every sense, ahead of her time and at the age of 56, she has left us ahead of her time.

But her music and courage will be as timeless as the waves lapping the shoreline in this place she called home.

Additional reporting by Ben Baird, assistant producer in Bray

As it stopped outside Montebello, her former home of 15 years, fans applauded and threw flowers, while some left handwritten notes thanking the star for sharing her music.

One sign left on the wall of the property listed causes that the singer had expressed support for, including welcoming refugees.

“Where words fail, music speaks,” it read.

Since O’Connor’s death, people have been leaving flowers and paying their respects at the house, which the singer sold in 2021 and now lies empty.

The 56-year-old Grammy-winning artist was found unresponsive when police were called to her home in southeast London on 26 July.


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