Sinéad O'Connor's funeral cortege was viewed by thousands of people in Bray, Co Wicklow on Tuesday, August 8 as mourners paid their respects to the Irish musician and activist.
Crowds of locals and fans gathered to pay their final respects to Sinéad O'Connor as the funeral cortege passed along the seafront of the Wicklow town before she is laid to rest at a private burial.
The cortege began at the Harbour Bar, at the end of Strand Road, passing her house, Montebello, where she lived for 15 years.
Gardaí and a brightly decorated Volkswagon campervan playing music by Bob Marley led the funeral procession while crowds of well-wishers gathered around the cortege applauding and throwing flowers.
The funeral cortege has passed the former home of Sinéad O’Connor to cheers and applause. pic.twitter.com/UwL997AFZO— Eleanor Mannion (@eleanormmannion) August 8, 2023
The funeral procession reached O'Connor's former home, where the hearse paused.
A statement from O'Connor's family said: "Sinéad loved living in Bray and the people in it.
"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."
To mark the passing of O'Connor, radio stations across Ireland played "Nothing Compares 2 U" at 12:30 pm as her funeral cortege passed through Bray before a private funeral.
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina were among those attending the private funeral service of Sinéad O'Connor. In a statement, President Higgins said: "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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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."
People gather outside Sinead O’Connor’s former home in Bray Co Wicklow ahead of her funeral procession. pic.twitter.com/832bN7FWBp— Paul Faith (@pa_faith) August 8, 2023
As fans began to gather earlier on Tuesday morning, Bray Councillor Dermot O'Brien told Newstalk: "It really to me shows that there was this heart connection between the people of the town and this icon, who on one level had this extraordinary talent, but on another level for us is quite comfortable in the ordinary.
"There's some interesting healing opportunity that the family are gifting us, the town, which is powerful."
O'Connor (56) was found unresponsive at her London apartment on July 26. A post-mortem has been carried out to discover her cause of death but results may not be released for several weeks.
The Irish musician is survived by three of her four children - Jack, Roisin, and Yeshua. Sadly in Jan 2022, Shane Lunny, her son aged just 16 took his own life.
Since her death was announced, flowers, cards, and tributes have been laid outside her Bray home. O'Connor sold the family home in 2021.
Memorial continues to grow outside Sinead O’Connor’s former Bray home ahead of the arrival of her funeral cortège pic.twitter.com/C5Y2cNNlMz— Barry Lenihan (@BarryLenihan) August 8, 2023
Among the mourners will be Mother and Baby Home survivors who plan to meet and form a guard of honor for O'Connor. They told the Irish Examiner they felt moved to do so as "she spoke up for us."
O'Connor spent time at the An Grianán laundry as a teen and spent decades highlighting clerical abuse, famously ripping up a photograph of the Pope on "Saturday Night Live."
In 2018, O'Connor converted to Islam changing her name to Shuhada' Sadaqat.
The cleric who presided over her conversion to Islam, Umar Al-Qadri, the chief Imam of Ireland, on Monday posted a message on his Facebook page, describing her as a "beacon of truth and exemplar of Islam's beautiful guidance."
He said "She has returned to her creator. Her conversion to Islam bore witness to the transcendent power of faith, reaching across cultural divides, tearing down walls of misunderstanding and prejudice."
He continued "May God envelop our sister Shuhada in his Loving Mercy, forgive her shortcomings and grant her a place in the highest of heavens.
"May He comfort her loved ones in this difficult time, and guide us all to live lives reflecting the true essence of Islam.'
Iman Al-Qadri invited Muslims to home prayers at 11 am on Tuesday, to coincide with her burial.
He wrote, "We can express our respect, love, and solidarity for our departed sister, mirroring the values she tirelessly championed."