Sinéad O’Connor is being remembered as “the kind of person we all should have been” as tributes are left outside her former home on Bray seafront.
The Dublin singer and musician died yesterday at the age of 56.
She was found unresponsive at her home in London on Wednesday morning and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say her death is not being treated as suspicious.
Her passing has sparked a global outpouring of grief, with leading figures from music, politics and beyond highlighting the many ways she touched people’s hearts.
This morning, locals in Bray have been leaving flowers, candles and messages outside Sinéad’s former home on the Wicklow seafront.
Newstalk reporter Henry McKean was in Bray this morning, speaking to locals about their memories of one of Ireland’s greatest singers and the impact she had on their lives.
“We saw Sinéad sitting out the front here during COVID a lot,” said one woman. “Speaking to people and seeming very relaxed.
“It is a sad day, a sad day. Everyone keeps saying the same thing. It’s just, poor Sinéad and hopefully, she is at peace now.”
Another woman spoke of her respect and admiration for Sinéad as a person and a musician.
“I am really sad,” she said. “I think we are of a similar age and I feel like we grew up together, but she was the kind of person we all should have been in a way – true to ourselves.
“I think she is a great loss and I just feel sad.”
“I used to see her when she lived here, walking up and down,” said one man.
“I was very sad yesterday. I felt she was a very troubled woman and you could feel that trouble - the damage - in her voice.
“I think, if you have ever had any trauma in your life, you would respond to that and you could definitely feel it from her.
“It is just very sad she was taken and she couldn’t stay with us any longer.
“I hope she is at peace.”
“Looking back to my younger days, maybe in the 90s and stuff, I remember being blown away when I saw Mandinka for the first time on TV,” said another man.
“I was just like, ‘Who is this person?’ The energy, the different look, not conforming to the stereotypical, popstar woman of the time.
“She had a great attitude. She broke the rules, she spoke her mind – non-conformist.”
Another woman said Sinéad spoke up when other people held their tongue.
“I just think it is incredibly sad,” she said. “She was a pioneer.”
“She really held people accountable and really changed the landscape. She was amazing; it is just incredibly sad.”
On Newstalk Breakfast meanwhile, Sinéad was described as ‘the voice of the universe’.
Hothouse Flowers singer Fiachna Ó Braonáin, who was Sinéad’s friend and neighbour for years, said she was so much more than her musical talent.
“She had this incredible fearlessness,” he said.
“She had an incredible intelligence as well. She was incredibly well-read and not afraid to speak her mind as we all know. She was also gentle and shy and very funny.
“The world is heartbroken, you know?”
Yesterday, Sinéad’s family said they were devasted by her loss.
Just two weeks ago, Sinéad had told her fans she was happy to have returned to London after a 23-year absence and was finishing an album that was due for release next year.
She was also planning a world tour, with plans to hold shows in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the US.
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