Northern Ireland news

Singer Sinead O'Connor slams Irish state after death of son Shane (17)

Heartbroken: Singer Sinead O'Connor
Mairead Holland

SINGER Sinead O'Connor has blamed the Irish state for her teenage son's death.

The body of 17-year-old Shane O'Connor was recovered in the Bray area of Wicklow on Friday, following a search.

The teenager had gone missing two days previously and both the Gardaí and his mother had made appeals for his safe return.

Shane's father, Donal Lunny, is one of Ireland's most famous traditional musicians.

Before his body was found, the singer asked how a "traumatised young person who was on suicide watch" in a Dublin hospital had been able to go missing, adding that seven days previously he had made "two severe suicide attempts".

In a series of emotional tweets, the singer, best known for her Nothing Compares 2 U single criticised the Health Service Executive (HSE) and state child and family agency Tusla.

Writing on her 'Sinead The 1 And Only' account, she said: "I have now formally identified the remains of my son, Shane. May God forgive the Irish State for I never will."

Representatives of Sinead O'Connor told the PA news agency: “We politely ask for respect and appreciation for Sinead, Shane's father and Shane's family at this most difficult time.”

Earlier, the singer, who converted to Islam in 2018, wrote: “My beautiful son, Nevi'im Nesta Ali Shane O'Connor, the very light of my life, decided to end his earthly struggle today and is now with God.

“May he rest in peace and may no one follow his example.

“My baby. I love you so much. Please be at peace.”

Shane MacGowan, the lead singer of Irish band The Pogues, shared a message of support on Twitter, describing the teenager as a “beautiful boy”.

He wrote: “Sinead, you have always been there for me and for so many people, you have been a comfort and a soul who is not afraid to feel the pain of the suffering.

“You have always tried to heal and help.

“I pray that you can be comforted and find strength, healing and peace in your own sorrow and loss.

“He was a beautiful boy and I loved him. I pray that he can be at peace and also be able to stay connected with you."

A spokesperson for the HSE said it could not comment on individual cases "when to do so might reveal information in relation to identifiable individuals, breaching the ethical requirement on us to observe our duty of confidentiality".

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