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

31 July 2023, 13:45 | Updated: 31 July 2023, 13:49

Sir Bob Geldof opened up about his 'very good friend' on stage.
Sir Bob Geldof opened up about his 'very good friend' on stage. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Sir Bob Geldof has revealed he received ‘sorrowful and despairing’ messages from Sinead O’Connor in the weeks before her death.

Irish singer Sir Bob Geldof, 71, of The Boomtown Rats opened up over the weekend to a festival crowd his final exchange with the Dublin-born singer before her death as she was a “very good friend”.

The news emerged that Sinead O’Conner died aged 56 last Wednesday after she was found unresponsive in her Lambeth home by police. Her death is not being treated as suspicious.

Speaking at Cavan Calling festival in Ireland on Saturday, Geldof opened up to fans about his own struggles with grief in after the loss of his ex-wife Paula Yates and his daughter Peaches.

He told the crowd you “just have to keep on in the face of such tragedies”.

Geldof continued: “There’s no other option, as all of you know, than to just keep on. Many, many times Sinead was full of a terrible loneliness and a terrible despair.

“She was a very good friend of mine. We were talking right up to a couple of weeks ago. Some of her texts were laden with desperation and despair and sorrow and some were ecstatically happy. She was like that.”

The Boomtown Rats singer praised O’Connor for her activism and courage throughout her career, making reference to her 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live which resulted in her being banished from the show and elicited anger within the Catholic Church.

Read more: Neighbours reveal Sinead O'Connor appeared 'happy and smiling' days before her shock death

Read more: Morrissey lashes out over celebrity tributes to Sinead O’Connor - labelling them 'sterile slop' and 'too late'

Read more: No medical cause given for Sinead O'Connor's death as police reveal autopsy will 'take weeks'

Sinead's death was announced last Wednesday.
Sinead's death was announced last Wednesday. Picture: Alamy

On the show, she performed a cover of Bob Marley’s War a cappella and sang: “We have confidence in good over evil” and held up a photo of Pope John Paul II as she said “evil”.

After this she ripped up the picture into pieces while staring at the camera, and proclaimed “fight the real enemy” as she threw the torn pieces at the camera.

O'Connor acquired an iconic status in Ireland over the years due to her vocal challenges to issues of misogyny, abuse and “uncomfortable truths” - particularly in the 80s and 90s.

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.

Geldof, who donned a shirt with Sinead on it at the time, added: “She tore up the picture of the Pope because she saw me tear up the picture of John Travolta on Top Of The Pops. It was a little more extreme than tearing up f***ing disco. Tearing up the Vatican is a whole other thing but more correct actually. I should have done it.”

People around the world paid tribute to O'Connor after the news of her death emerged.
People around the world paid tribute to O'Connor after the news of her death emerged. Picture: Alamy

Tributes from around the world poured in following the ‘Nothing Compares 2U’ singer’s death.

Tim Burgess, lead singer of British rock band the Charlatans, wrote: “She did not compromise and that made her life more of a struggle. Hoping that she has found peace.”

Irish comedian Dara O'Briain was among the first to pay tribute, writing online: "Ah s****, Sinead O'Connor has died. That's just very sad news. Poor thing. I hope she realised how much love there was for her."

In her final social media post on July 17 she tweeted a picture of her late son and wrote: "Been living as undead night creature since... He was the love of my life, the lamp of my soul.

"We were one soul in two halves. He was the only person who ever loved me unconditionally. I am lost in the bardo without him."

Sinead’s son Shane died in January last year after going missing from Tallaght Hospital after years of struggling with mental health issues.

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