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Sinéad O'Connor performs at at Piazza Della Riforma in Switzerland in 2014 Alamy Stock Photo

Sineád O'Connor: Tributes paid to one of Ireland's 'most gifted' artists

Events and memorials are underway in Dublin and abroad.

SINÉAD O’CONNOR HAS been hailed as one of Ireland’s “most gifted” artists following her death at the age of 56. 

The legendary singer was one of this country’s most internationally famous musicians and was much-loved at home and abroad. 

Artists from across the musical spectrum, writers, actors, politicians and others have shared their admiration following the news of her death. 

O’Connor, who also used the names Magda Davitt and Shuhada Sadaqat after converting to Islam, had four children. One of her children, Shane, is also recently deceased.

RTÉ will pay tribute to O’Connor through its programming over the next few days.

Sinéad O’Connor – Live at Vicar Street will air on RTÉ One on Saturday Night. The hour-long special was recorded live in Vicar Street in 2002, and includes performances of iconic tracks such as Molly Malone, My Lagan Love, Nothing Compares 2 U and Fire On Babylon.

Up For The Match will also remember O’Connor on Saturday evening.

RTÉ radio stations, Radio 1, 2FM and Lyric FM will be delving into the archives for previous interviews and performances by O’Connor over the years.

Other programmes paying tribute include Lyric FM’s Mystery Train, Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Tús Áite, The Ray D’Arcy Show and The Brendan O’Connor Show on RTÉ Radio 1.

irish-singer-musicians-sinead-oconnor Sinéad O'Connor in Dublin in 1989. Eamonn Farrell / Eamonn Farrell / /

Fans gathered at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Temple Bar today to remember the music icon.

The London Irish Centre is also hosting a gathering to pay tribute this evening. 

The Harbour Bar in Bray, near where the singer once lived, will play her songs throughout the evening.

On Friday night, Dublin’s Penny Lane will have a ‘Sinéad Night’ in her honour.

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Daithí de Rósite will open a physical book of condolences at the Mansion House on Friday and Saturday between 11am and 5pm.

President Michael D Higgins offered his condolences to her father, John, her other family members and “all those with whom she shared her life”.

“My first reaction on hearing the news of Sinéad’s loss was to remember her extraordinarily beautiful, unique voice. What was striking in all of the recordings she made and in all of her appearances was the authenticity of the performance, while her commitment to the delivery of the song and its meaning was total,” the President said.

To those of us who had the privilege of knowing her, one couldn’t but always be struck by the depth of her fearless commitment to the important issues which she brought to public attention, no matter how uncomfortable those truths may have been.”

President Higgins described her as one of Ireland’s “greatest and most gifted composers, songwriters and performers of recent decades, one who had a unique talent and extraordinary connection with her audience, all of whom held such love and warmth for her”.

“Her contribution joins those great achievements of Irish women who contributed to our lives, its culture and its history in their own unique but unforgettable ways. May her spirit find the peace she sought in so many different ways.” 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was “really sorry” to hear of Sinéad’s death, saying her music was “loved around the world and her talent was unmatched and beyond compare”.

Sinéad O’Connor had recently recorded a new theme for historical TV drama Outlander, working with composer Bear McCreary, who wrote on Twitter: “I am gutted by the loss of #SineadOConnor.

“She was the warrior poet I expected her to be — wise and visionary, but also hilarious. She and I laughed a lot. We were writing new songs together, which will now never be complete.

“We’ve all lost an icon. I’ve lost a friend. #RIP.”

Fiachna O Braonain, a member of Irish band Hothouse Flowers, said: “Many conversations had… Many songs sung…

“Many laughs had and dances danced… Thank you for these beautiful memories Sinead… So terribly sad…”

The tweet was accompanied with pictures of the pair talking and smiling together.

Irish band Aslan has paid tribute to the singer.

Both originating from Dublin, O’Connor collaborated with the band on Up In Arms in 2001. Aslan lead singer Christy Dignam died in June.

A post on the band’s Facebook page read: “Two Legends taken from us so closely together… No words… Rest in Peace Sinead.”

Singer Alanis Morissette wrote on Instagram Stories that Sinéad was a “profound inspiration” to herself and many others. 

“Her passion, poetry and unapologetic expression raised the bar on artistry and female empowerment. Her questioning of societal norms deeply influenced culture’s appreciation of female complexity,” she said. 

“Her ability to vulnerably dwell on the small part of the bell-shaped curve was thought provoking, stirring and inspiring.” 

Comedian Patrick Kielty, the new host of Ireland’s The Late Late Show, tweeted: “Just heartbreaking. She was the truth way before most of us knew where to look. Rest in peace, Sinead.”

American singer-songwriter and pianist Tori Amos said O’Connor was a “force of nature” whose “talent we will not see the like of again”. 

The lead singer of alternative rock band The Charlatans has referred to Sinead O’Connor as the “true embodiment of a punk spirit” after her death at the age of 56.

In a tweet, Tim Burgess wrote: “Sinead was the true embodiment of a punk spirit.
“She did not compromise and that made her life more of a struggle. Hoping that she has found peace,” he addded.

a-bare-foot-sinead-oconnor-headlining-the-cambridge-folk-festival-on-friday-night-august-1st-2014 Sinéad O'Connor headlining the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2014 Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Author Marian Keyes described the news as “heartbreaking”, describing the singer as an “amazing, brave, beautiful, unique wonder”, while writer Caitlin Moran said O’Connor was “THE greatest voice of her generation, no contest” and “fearless”.

Actor Russell Crowe was also among those sharing anecdotes about the singer, explaining how he had met her last year while working in Ireland.
Recounting their meeting on Twitter, he said: “There under streetlights with mist on my breath, I met Sinead. She looked in my eyes, and uttered with disarming softness “oh, it’s you Russell”.

He wrote that he’d “had the opportunity to tell her she was a hero of mine”, ending his tweets saying: “When her second cup was taking on the night air, she rose, embraced us all and strode away into the fog-dimmed streetlights. We sat there the four of us and variously expressed the same thing. What an amazing woman. Peace be with your courageous heart Sinead.”

Born Sinead Marie Bernadette O’Connor in Glenageary, County Dublin, in December 1966, the singer had a difficult childhood.

She released her first critically acclaimed album The Lion And The Cobra in 1987.

Her second studio album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, followed in 1990 and continued the singer’s success as it received glowing reviews.

O’Connor’s 1990 song ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, from her second album, shot the Dublin-born singer to the top of the global charts, spending four weeks in the number one slot in the US Billboard Hot 100.

With reporting by Press Association 

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