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Fans of Sinead O'Connor lining the streets for a "last goodbye" to the singer as her funeral cortege passed through her former hometown of Bray Alamy Stock Photo
Sinead O'Connor

Large crowds line streets in Bray to bid farewell to Sinead O'Connor ahead of private burial

The Grammy-winning singer was found unresponsive by police at her south-east London home, aged 56.

LAST UPDATE | 8 Aug 2023

LARGE CROWDS HAVE turned out in Bray, Co Wicklow to bid farewell to Sinead O’Connor, as the cortege passed by before a private burial.

The Grammy-winning singer was found unresponsive by police at her south-east London home, aged 56.

O’Connor’s family had asked people who wished to say a “last goodbye” to stand along the Bray seafront as the cortege passed by.

The procession began at the Harbour Bar end of the Strand Road and continued past her former home, Montebello, where she lived for 15 years.

“Sinead loved living in Bray and the people in it,” a statement issued by her family said.

“With this procession, her family would like to acknowledge the outpouring of love for her from the people of Co Wicklow and beyond, since she left last week to go to another place.”

Large groups lined the street along the seafront in Bray as the cortege passed by this morning. Gardaí closed off the roads around the area to allow for the procession to make its way along the seafront. 

Many people joined in singing along to O’Connor’s songs while others wiped away tears.

Decorated with flowers and Pride flags, a Volkswagen camper van led the procession, with rasta music playing from speakers mounted on the roof for the gathered crowds.

Sinead OConnor funeral-17 The hearse carrying Sinead O'Connor's body passing by crowds of well-wishers and mourners lining the Bray seafront ahead of her funeral Eamonn Farrell / RollingNews.ie Eamonn Farrell / RollingNews.ie / RollingNews.ie

fans-of-singer-sinead-oconnor-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-servic Crowds lining the streets as the funeral procession drove along the seafront in Bray Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Handwritten notes left outside O’Connor’s former home thanked her for sharing her voice and her music.

One note said: “You are forever in my heart.”

A pink chair was placed outside the pink-framed conservatory of the house, located on the seafront, with pink flowers and a photo of the singer placed at the base of the chair.

One sign left at the wall of the property listed causes that the singer had expressed support for, including welcoming refugees: “Where words fail, music speaks.”

A neighbour was also seen putting candles on the wall that separated the two properties.

featureimage Tributes outside the former home of Sinead O'Connor in Bray, Co Wicklow Liam McBurney / PA Images Liam McBurney / PA Images / PA Images

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, an Islamic scholar and the chief Imam at the Islamic Centre of Ireland who met Sinead O’Connor in 2018, posted that he is “incredibly grateful for the opportunity to lead the Muslim funeral prayer for the daughter of Ireland, Sinead O’Connor aka Shuhada Sadaqat”.

He wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “It is an honor to be part of this occasion, and I extend my heartfelt appreciation to the family for recognising and embracing her Muslim identity.”

tributes-outside-the-former-home-of-sinead-oconnor-in-bray-co-wicklow-ahead-of-the-late-singers-funeral-today-picture-date-tuesday-august-8-2023 Tributes outside the former home of Sinead O'Connor in Bray Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

tributes-outside-the-former-home-of-sinead-oconnor-in-bray-co-wicklow-ahead-of-the-late-singers-funeral-today-picture-date-tuesday-august-8-2023 More tributes outside Sinead O'Connor's former home in Bray Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina are attending today’s funeral. 

“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,” President Higgins said. 

“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,” he said. 

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,” the President said. 

“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,” he said. 

“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.”

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Bray resident Adrian Duggan said it was “phenomenal” to see so many people gathered outside Sinead O’Connor’s home, adding the singer was a “once off”.

A councillor for Bray East said fans are “grateful” to the family for allowing them the opportunity to “say goodbye” to the late singer.

“I was a lifelong fan of Sinead. We met quite by chance when she moved to Bray… Sinead, although she was attached to Bray and very Irish, she was a global superstar, that is easy for us to forget here in Bray – she touched lives across the world,” Erika Doyle told BBC Breakfast.

“Sinead’s legacy is still being written and I think it will for some time … We are very grateful to Sinead’s family for allowing the opportunity to say goodbye,” Doyle said. 

tributes-outside-the-former-home-of-sinead-oconnor-in-bray-co-wicklow-ahead-of-the-late-singers-funeral-today-picture-date-tuesday-august-8-2023 Tributes outside the former home of Sinead O'Connor in Bray, Co Wicklow Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Several gatherings were held in the days after O’Connor’s death in Dublin, Belfast and London, where members of the public paid tribute to her legacy as a musician and activist.

O’Connor’s death is not being treated as suspicious by authorities. A London coroner did not find a medical cause of death and suggested that the post-mortem examination results may take several weeks.

Includes reporting by Press Association

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