Sinead O’Connor has been remembered as a singer and activist whose “voice moved a generation of young people”, as stars including U2’s Bono and Bob Geldof attended her funeral and thousands of mourners lined the streets to pay their respects.
The music star’s life was celebrated at a private ceremony before the funeral cortege travelled past her former home in Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland, so fans could say farewell.
As the hearse bearing O’Connor‘s coffin made its way along the seafront, fans clapped and cheered, throwing flowers on to the car, while her music played out from a camper van decorated with the Pride flag and the Rastafarian flag.
Bob Geldof was among the mourners at Sinead O’Connor’s funeral
Ireland’s president Michael Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were in attendance alongside Bono and Geldof at the private ceremony.
Muslim prayers at the service were led by Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, an Islamic scholar and Chief Imam at the Islamic Centre of Ireland; he first met the star in 2018, the year she announced she had converted to Islam.
She continued to perform and record as Sinead O’Connor, but had changed her name to Shuhada’ Sadaqat.
An ‘otherworldly resonance’
“The more she sang and spoke about her own pain, as well as about the pervasive sins in society that she witnessed, the more her voice and her words resonated with listeners and touched their hearts,” Dr Umar Al-Qadri said in his eulogy.
“Gifted with a voice that moved a generation of young people, she could reduce listeners to tears by her otherworldly resonance.”
Flowers have been left outside the musician’s former home in Bray
He added: “I know that peoples of all faiths throughout the world will be praying for this beloved daughter of Ireland, among them will be countless Muslims praying for their sister in faith and humanity.
“Sinead’s voice carried with it an undertone of hope, of finding one’s way home. The Irish people have long found solace in song from the sufferings of this lower abode, and Sinead was no exception, and in sharing that solace, she brought joy to countless people the world over.”
Fans started gathering in Bray early on Tuesday morning to wait for O’Connor’s funeral cortege to pass by.
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As it stopped outside Montebello, her former home of 15 years, fans applauded and threw flowers, while some left handwritten notes thanking the star for sharing her music.
One sign left on the wall of the property listed causes that the singer had expressed support for, including welcoming refugees.
“Where words fail, music speaks,” it read.
Since O’Connor’s death, people have been leaving flowers and paying their respects at the house, which the singer sold in 2021 and now lies empty.
The 56-year-old Grammy-winning artist was found unresponsive when police were called to her home in southeast London on 26 July.