Nothing compared to you: Thousands of fans line Irish streets in tribute to Sinead O'Connor ahead of funeral

8 August 2023, 10:37 | Updated: 8 August 2023, 11:58

Sinead O’Connor's funeral procession has started
Sinead O’Connor's funeral procession has started. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Thousands of Sinead O'Connor fans have lined the streets of Ireland to pay tribute to the late music legend ahead of her funeral.

Sinead was found unresponsive at her home in London aged 56 - just 18 months after the death of her 17-year-old son Shane.

Her funeral will take place today, with a cortege making its way along the seafront in Bray, eastern Ireland, near Sinead's former home from 10.30am.

Thousands of fans have been laying tributes outside her former home since her death on July 26.

Fans have lined the streets of Bray in eastern Ireland
Fans have lined the streets of Bray in eastern Ireland. Picture: Getty
Sinead O'Connor died on July 26
Sinead O'Connor died on July 26. Picture: Getty

Tributes include photos of the Irish music legend, as well notes referencing her iconic music.

“You are forever in my heart,” one tribute from a mourner reads.

Another note lists all the charities Grammy winner Sinead worked with throughout her life, adding the words: “Where words fail, music speaks.”

Another fan described her as a woman “for the women of Ireland”.

Read More: Sinead O'Connor's remains released to family following post-mortem after singer's shock death

Read More: Sir Bob Geldof reveals final texts of ‘desperation, despair and sorrow’ from Sinead O’Connor in weeks before her death

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, and his wife, Sabina, will attend Sinead’s private funeral service later today.

In a statement, President Higgins said: “The outpouring of grief and appreciation of the life and work of Sinéad O'Connor demonstrates the profound impact which she had on the Irish people.

"The unique contribution of Sinéad involved the experience of a great vulnerability combined with a superb, exceptional level of creativity that she chose to deliver through her voice, her music and her songs.

"The expression of both, without making any attempt to reduce the one for the sake of the other, made her contribution unique - phenomenal in music terms, but of immense heroism.

He added: “However, achieving this came from the one heart and the one body and the one life, which extracted an incredible pain, perhaps one too much to bear.

"That is why all those who are seeking to make a fist of their life, combining its different dimensions in their own way, can feel so free to express their grief at her loss.”

A note left outside Sinead O'Connor's former home in Bray, eastern Ireland
A note left outside Sinead O'Connor's former home in Bray, eastern Ireland. Picture: Alamy
Flowers and tributes are pictured outside the former home of Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, in Bray, eastern Ireland
Flowers and tributes are pictured outside the former home of Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, in Bray, eastern Ireland. Picture: Getty

The Irish singer, known for classic songs Nothing Compares 2 U and Mandinka, was presented with the inaugural award for Classic Irish Album at the RTÉ Choice Music Awards.

She received a standing ovation for the 1990 hit ‘I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got’ and dedicated the award to “each and every member of Ireland’s refugee community”.

“You’re very welcome in Ireland. I love you very much and I wish you happiness,” she said during a rare public appearance.

Notes have been left honouring the Irish music legend's memory
Notes have been left honouring the Irish music legend's memory. Picture: Getty
Sinead O'Connor
Sinead O'Connor. Picture: Alamy

She had struggled with her mental health in recent years, saying on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2007 that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder four years earlier.

In 2012 she announced on her website that she was ‘very unwell,’ having suffered a breakdown towards the end of 2011.

In 2014 however she said she was not bipolar and blamed her mental state on hormone-replacement therapy following a hysterectomy.

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