Singer Imelda May has said her friend Sinéad O'Connor has "gone from being demonised to sainthood" since she died last week.
Last week, the Dublin singer brought audiences to tears at Cambridge Folk Festival, performing an emotional rendition of Nothing Compares 2 U to honour her late friend and fellow singer Sinéad O'Connor.
On The Pat Kenny Show, May said her friend's passing was a "kick to the stomach" that she still is struggling to process.
"Sinéad was a good friend of mine and she got me through some tough times. We got each other through some stuff," she said.
"We'd FaceTime each other with a cup of tea in our dressing gowns, and whinge about what we needed to whinge about and laugh about what we needed to laugh about.
"I'll really miss her and I'll miss those phone calls."
— Imelda May (@ImeldaOfficial) July 27, 2023
May said she is still trying to process Sinéad's death – both for herself and for the singer.
"She's gone from being demonised to sainthood within the matter of a week and none of us are any of those things," she said.
"We're all somewhere down the middle, but I am glad that she's getting the love.
"I'm glad she got to see it before she was gone, she did get to see the tide turn in her favour."
— Imelda May (@ImeldaOfficial) July 31, 2023
This August, May is marking a first in her career as a live performer, starring in a new production of Mother of All the Behans in the Olympia Theatre.
The play was adapted by director Peter Sheridan from Brian Behan's book – using additional material by Rosaleen Linehan.
May said she will play Brendan's Mother Kathleen Behan in the one-woman show.
"Kathleen is all the women that reared me," she said. "I can see everybody in her – all the neighbours.
"Kathleen is every fabulous Irish woman that's been in your life – your mother, your grandmother, your great-grandmother, your auntie or neighbour down the road."
May said Sheridan's script is a fast-paced adaptation – telling the story of a "very important part of social and political history".
"I'm adamant that people come to see this play – not to see me, to see Kathleen – because she's a really important part of our history," she said.
"She worked for Maude Gonne, she was with Constance Markievicz, she knew Michael Collins well – so it's her talking about all these things, breaking into song in the middle of it.
"This is totally being Kathleen Behan, and she is a phenomenal woman."
I can’t wait to show you what a great woman Kathleen Behan was… she was Brendan’s Mammy of course and she was never stuck for a bar of a song!
I’ll be playing her, songs and all in Mother of the Behans this August at the @3olympiatheatre
— Imelda May (@ImeldaOfficial) July 19, 2023
Tickets to Mother of All the Behans are now available here.
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