RIP, Sinead O’Connor

Well, this hurts a lot. She was troubled and erratic and brilliant and one of the indelible voices of my generation, and she was fucking right about the Catholic Church, for all the good it did her in this life. Genius doesn’t make for an easy life, but genius she was, and I’m glad that for a time she got to express her particular strain of genius in this world. May she rest well.

— JS

19 Comments on “RIP, Sinead O’Connor”

  1. John, do you mean ‘in the memories of the living’ when you say “May she rest well?”

  2. I’m crushed by this, more sad than I ever would have expected. She was so brilliant and blazing and had more pain in her life than was fair.

    Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam, may her soul be on the right hand of God.

  3. She was the first person I was ever aware of who spoke their mind about important matters with no consideration for how it affected their career. There have been others, of course, both before and after; but she always loomed larger than life in my eyes because of that.

    The song Black Boys on Mopeds just gets sadder and sadder.

  4. I hope she is at peace now, whereever she is. She said a lot of truth and took a lot of flack that she never deserved for it. The British Press was particularly cruel and vile, as they always were. She deserved better than that.

  5. This death has hit me hard. She was unrepeteable, a brave and honest person and a wonderful singer and composer. We’re all poorer for losing her.

  6. I remember the first time I heard “Troy”. The power and anguish sent chills up my spine. RIP.

  7. Her career was almost destroyed when she tore up that photo of “Saint” John Paul II.

    She was absolutely right, and ten years before the Boston Globe exposed the depth of the rot in one of the most Catholic cities in the country.

    Her courage was astounding.

  8. I know how she was professionally known and I don’t believe you would intentionally want to hurt someone, but why are you referring to her by herd dead-name and not Shuhada’ Sadaqat, like she chose to be?

  9. Thing is, “Sinead O’Connor” is not a “dead name” – as you note, she used it herself to record and perform and apparently did not insist that the public refer to her only by her Muslim name. It’s not disrespectful to call her by Sinead O’Connor if she herself was fine with it, and used it regularly in her public life.

    In this respect it is different from, say, insisting on referring to Muhammed Ali as “Cassius Clay,” since Ali was very clear on his identity and specifically rejected the previous name. Somewhere in the middle is Yusef Islam, who recorded albums as Cat Stevens, then as Yusef Islam, and currently releases albums as “Yusef/Cat Stevens” (and whose birth name was Steven Demetre Georgiou, one I don’t know if he uses for any purpose any more).

    Also, since we are about having words mean things, don’t use the phrase “dead name” about something that is not, in fact, a dead name, please.

  10. It should also be noted that on the service formerly known as Twitter, she changed it to use her full name: Sinead Marie-Bernarde Aoibheann O’Connor. John is most definitely right in his assessment of it not being a dead name.


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