LONDON – Throngs of followers lined the streets of Sinead O’Connor’s former hometown in Eire to bid farewell to the gifted singer as her funeral procession handed by Tuesday following a non-public memorial service.

A classic VW camper van with rooftop audio system blasting Bob Marley’s track “Natural Mystic” led a hearse at strolling tempo by way of a thick crowd of admirers alongside the waterfront in Bray. O’Connor stated she beloved Marley’s music.

Devotees of O’Connor’s singing and people touched by her sometimes-troubled life tossed roses and different flowers on the hearse.

A gaggle that had been ready for effectively over an hour outdoors O’Connor’s former house, singing her songs at occasions, started to clap as 4 law enforcement officials on bikes main the cortege approached and the procession got here to a halt.

They snapped pictures by way of the home windows of the hearse the place her coffin was dwarfed by a pile of blue hydrangeas and pink roses.

Ruth O’Shea, who had come to the coastal city of Bray south of Dublin together with her two daughters, turned teary as she spoke of O’Connor’s significance, saying she had “meant the world” to her.

“She was so rebellious and empowering and inspiring, and my mother hated me listening to her music,” O’Shea said. “She was just brilliant. Brilliant — I loved her, and then the kids, I suppose by osmosis because I played her when they were both growing up, they’d go, ‘Oh God, mom’s listening to Sinead O’Connor, she’s obviously had a rough day.’ She just gave me hope. And I just loved her, I loved her.”

O’Connor, 56, was discovered unresponsive at her London house on July 26. Police haven’t shared a explanation for demise, although they stated her demise was not suspicious.

O’Connor’s household had invited the general public to pay their respects in the course of the funeral procession.

“Sinead loved living in Bray and the people in it,” her household stated in a press release. “With this procession, her family would like to acknowledge the outpouring of love for her from the people of Wicklow (county) and beyond, since she left … to go to another place.”

Followers tucked handwritten notes and flowers behind a series wrapped round a granite publish on the entrance to her former house, thanking her for sharing her voice and her music. One signal listed causes that the singer had expressed help for, together with welcoming refugees.

“Thanks for your short special life,” one note read. “Gone too soon.”

O’Connor, a multi-octave mezzo soprano of extraordinary emotional range who was recognizable by her shaved head, began her career singing on the streets of Dublin and soon rose to international fame.

She became a sensation in 1990 with her cover of Prince’s ballad “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which topped charts from Europe to Australia.

She was a critic of the Roman Catholic Church well before allegations of sexual abuse were widely reported. She made headlines in October 1992 when she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while appearing on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and denounced the church as the enemy.

She was public about her struggles with mental illness. When her teenage son Shane died by suicide last year, O’Connor tweeted there was “no point living without him” and she was soon hospitalized. Her final tweet, sent July 17, read “For all mothers of Suicided children,” and linked to a Tibetan compassion mantra.

Since her death, celebrities have paid tribute to her, and ordinary people have shared acts of kindness she performed.


EDITOR’S NOTE — This story includes discussion of suicide. The U.S. suicide and crisis lifeline is available by calling or texting 988. There is also an online chat at In the U.K., the Samaritans can be reached at 116 123.

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