‘Troubled soul’ Sinead O’Connor’s struggle with superstardom: Pop star has opened up about her mental health battles and previously asked public to pray for son Shane
- Sinead O’Connor’s 17-year-old son died two days after he was reported missing
- Singer paid tribute to ‘beautiful’ Shane and said he ‘ended his earthly struggle’
- Comes after Garda launched appeal to find Shane, who was last seen on Friday
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details
Sinead O’Connor asked fans to pray for her 17-year-old son Shane on multiple occasions over the years amid her own dramatic fall from grace before he died earlier this week.
The Irish singer, 55, confirmed her ‘beautiful’ son Shane, whom she shares with her ex, folk singer Donal Lunny, had passed away on Twitter earlier today.
In a devastating tweet, she 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, who went missing on Thursday, was one of Sinead’s four children – Jake Reynolds, Roisin Waters and Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio.
Sinead had openly asked fans to pray for Shane’s health over the years, and previously appealed for help with her teenage son after he went missing in January 2019.
Sinead O’Connor asked fans to pray for her 17-year-old son Shane on multiple occasions over the years amid her own dramatic fall from grace before he died earlier this week
Shane, who went missing on Thursday, was one of Sinead’s four children – Jake Reynolds, Roisin Waters and Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio (pictured, Sinead with Roisin and Shane)
Sinead has been married four times and has four children. Her first union was with music producer John Reynolds, who co-produced several of her albums, in 1987.
They welcomed her eldest son is 34-year-old Jake, but split in 1991.
Sinead soared to fame in the 90s with hit song Nothing Compares 2 U, which was named the number one world single by the Billboard Music Awards, while her debut album The Lion and the Cobra charted internationally.
She controversially ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on prime-time television in 1992, but last year admitted in her new book Rememberings that she had no regrets about the stunt.
‘My intention had always been to destroy my mother’s photo of the Pope. It represented lies and liars and abuse,’ she wrote.
‘I never knew when or where or how I would destroy it, but destroy it I would when the right moment came,’ she continued.
Sinead had openly asked fans to pray for Shane’s health over the years, and previously appealed for help with her teenage son after he went missing in January 2019
O’Connor had her third child Shane with Irish musician Donal Lunny in 2004, around the time she said she was retiring from music – although she later restarted her career again
Sinead explained that after waking up ‘p**sed off’ she decided that she would tear the image up during her performance on Saturday Night Live.
‘I decide tonight is the night. I know if I do this there’ll be war. But I don’t care. I know my Scripture. Nothing can touch me. I reject the world…’
The fall-out from Sinead’s stunt was largely unforgiving, with many claiming the incident ruined her career.
However, the hit-maker said she doesn’t doesn’t feel the need to be liked by others or accepted by the music industry.
Sinead took to the social media platform to threaten the hospital where she said her son had been staying with a ‘lawsuit’ if ‘anything happens to my son’ (pictured together)
‘I’m not a pop star. I’m just a troubled soul who needs to scream into a mic now and then. I don’t need to be number one.’
‘I don’t need to be liked. I don’t need to be welcome at the AMAs [American Music Awards],’ she wrote.
In an interview with The New York Times last month, Sinéad described her decision to rip up the photo as ‘brilliant’.
However, she said of the public backlash she received afterwards: ‘It was very traumatising. It was open season on treating me like a crazy b***h.’
Four marriages, three affairs with women and four children: Sinead O’Connor’s troubled love life
Sinead O’Connor has four children – Jake, Roisin, Shane, and Yeshua – with four different men.
In addition to four marriages, the singer has been involved in three relationships that produced children, as well as, she claims, three serious affairs with women. Here is a list of her relationships:
Sinead pictured with ex-husband John Reynolds and their son, her oldest child, Jake). The couple married in 1987 before splitting in 1991
John Reynolds (married 1987-1991, divorced, son Jake)
She had her first son Jake with her first husband, drummer and music producer John Reynolds. He worked on multiple albums with her including Universal Mother and they married in 1987 before their union broke down in 1991.
Jake later had a son – O’Connor’s first grandson aged 48 – with his girlfriend Lia in 2015.
John Waters (never married, daughter Roisin)
Roisin’s father is Irish reporter John Waters – and the couple had a lengthy custody battle in the mid-1990s which culminated in O’Connor agreeing for her daughter to live with Waters in Dublin.
Sinead married the British journalist Nick Sommerlad in a secret ceremony in the summer of 2001 after a whirlwind romance but they soon split up
Nick Sommerlad (married 2001-2004, divorced, no children)
She married the British journalist Nick Sommerlad in a secret ceremony in the summer of 2001 after a whirlwind romance but they soon split up.
Donal Lunny (never married, son Shane)
O’Connor had her third child Shane with Irish musician Donal Lunny in 2004, around the time she said she was retiring from music – although she later restarted her career again.
Frank Bonadio (never married, son Yeshua)
In 2006, Sinéad began a relationship with Frank Bonadio, the estranged husband of singer Mary Coughlan, that produced a son, Yeshua. They split in early 2007 but remained friends.
O’Connor married her longtime friend and frequent collaborator Steve Cooney in July 2010 but their union only lasted until the following April
Steve Cooney (married 2010-2011, divorced)
O’Connor married her longtime friend and frequent collaborator Steve Cooney in July 2010 but their union only lasted until the following April.
Barry Herridge (married in 2011, separated, no children)
She wed Barry Herridge, an Irish therapist who helped her with her son was ill, in 2011 in Las Vegas but the marriage lasted for a mere three weeks – and they only lived together for seven days.
Although they separated, they are not believed to have legally divorced.
She wed Barry Herridge, an Irish therapist who helped her with her son was ill, in 2011 in Las Vegas but the marriage lasted for a mere three weeks – and they only lived together for seven days
The highs and lows life of troubled singer Sinead O’Connor
1987 – Married music producer John Reynolds, who co-produced several of her albums
1991 – Split from Reynolds
1992 – Controversially ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on prime-time television
Mid-1990s – Dated John Waters, with whom she had daughter Roisin. Couple had a lengthy custody battle
1999 – Became Mother Bernadette Marie after being ordained by bishop Michael Cox of the Latin Tridentine church
2000 – Revealed she was a lesbian
2001 – Married British journalist Nick Sommerlad
2004 – Divorced Sommerlad
– Had third child Shane with Irish musician Donal Lunny
2007 – Told Oprah that before her bipolar diagnosis she had struggled with thoughts of suicide and overwhelming fear
2010 – Married Steve Cooney
2011 – Divorced Cooney.
– Married Barry Herridge. Marriage is believed to have lasted a mere three weeks
2012 – Reconciled with Herridge before splitting up again
2014 – Sinead spoke further about her sexuality telling Pride Source she ‘wouldn’t give a s**t’ if the person she loves was a man or woman
2015 – Sinead became a grandmother for the first time when son Jake and his girlfriend Lia welcomed a baby son into the world
Took to Facebook in 2015 to say she had taken an overdose at a hotel somewhere in Ireland.
2016 – Began a relationship with Frank Bonadio. They welcomed a son, Yeshua
– Sparked a police search when she failed to return from a bike ride in suburban Chicago.
2017 – Split from Bonadio but remained friends
– Sparked alarm with a teary 12-minute video on her Facebook page in which she stated that she had wanted to kill herself for two years
– Sinead changed her name to Magda Davitt so she could be ‘free of parental slave names’
2018 – Started using the name Shuhada Sadaqat after converting to Islam in October 2018
January 2019 – Appealed to fans for help and prayers for her son Shane’s wellbeing after he went missing
2020 – The mother-of-four asked her fans to pray for her teenage son Shane in a worrying cryptic post shared to Twitter
– Sinéad said she was taking a break from performing as she went into a year-long rehabilitation programme and all her 2021 gigs were called off
January 2022 – Sinead confirmed Shane’s death in a devastating Tweet
In 1999, she became Mother Bernadette Marie after being ordained by bishop Michael Cox of the Latin Tridentine church.
The following year Sinead revealed she was a lesbian in an interview with American magazine Curve.
She told the publication: ‘I’m a lesbian. I haven’t been very open about that, and throughout most of my life I’ve gone out with blokes because I haven’t necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian.’
Despite her confession, her second marriage was to British journalist Nick Sommerlad from 2001 to 2004, while her third was to longtime friend and collaborator Steve Cooney.
Her daughter Roisin, 25, is the result of her relationship with journalist John Waters.
She never lived with John and they fought for custody of their daughter before it was decided she would live with him in Dublin.
Sinead had her son Shane with Irish folk musician Donal Lunny and the pair split shortly after Shane’s arrival.
Meanwhile she began openly up about struggling with bipolar disorder, depression and post traumatic stress for years.
She told Oprah Winfrey in 2007 that before her bipolar diagnosis she had struggled with thoughts of suicide and overwhelming fear.
She said at the time that medication had helped her find more balance, but ‘it’s a work in progress.’
The musician’s final marriage, to Irish therapist Barry Herridge, ended just days after the couple tied the knot in Las Vegas in December 2011.
The couple later revealed they had reconciled in early 2012, but eventually split once again.
Meanwhile she welcomed her youngest child, 15-year-old Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio, who she shares with American businessman Frank Bonadio. They split in 2017, a year after his birth.
In 2014, Sinead spoke further about her sexuality telling Pride Source she ‘wouldn’t give a s**t’ if the person she loves was a man or woman.
In July 2015, Sinead became a grandmother for the first time when son Jake and his girlfriend Lia welcomed a baby son into the world.
O’Connor took to Facebook in 2015 to say she had taken an overdose at a hotel somewhere in Ireland.
Irish police later said she had been found safe. The next month, she posted on Facebook that she had been detained in a hospital for mental health evaluation.
The mother-of-four also sparked a police search in May 2016 when she failed to return from a bike ride in suburban Chicago.
About two hours after she left on the ride, a rambling message was posted on her official Facebook page that referred to emotional trauma she had been through over the years, prompting fears she had disappeared to take her own life.
She was found by police later that day at an unidentified hotel.
In 2017, she sparked alarm with a teary 12-minute video on her Facebook page in which she stated that she had wanted to kill herself for two years.
The same year, Sinead changed her name to Magda Davitt in 2017 so she could be ‘free of parental slave names’ and just one year later, she started using the name Shuhada Sadaqat after converting to Islam in October 2018.
In November 2020, Sinéad said she was taking a break from performing as she went into a year-long rehabilitation programme and all her 2021 gigs were called off.
Revealing the news, she said she had ‘lost someone beloved’ and had endured a ‘traumatic six years’.
Sinead admitted she has been ‘addicted to weed for 34 years’ but ‘became briefly addicted’ to another drug following her loss.
Sinead welcomed her son Shane, whom she called the ‘light of her life’ and ‘the lamp of her soul’, in March 2004
Apologising to her fans in a heartfelt statement, she penned: ‘Message for folks who have tickets for next year’s shows: those shows are being postponed until 2022 so that I may go into a one year trauma and addiction treatment program because I had a very traumatic six years and this year was the end of it but now recovery starts.’
She continued: ‘This year I lost someone beloved and has affected me so badly that I became briefly addicted to a drug other than weed.
‘I have been addicted to weed for 34 years. A lifetime.
‘I grew up with a lot of trauma and abuse. I then went straight into the music business. And never learned really how to make a normal life. Never took proper time to heal. Wasn’t ready to either.’
The mother-of-four, who has openly discussed her own mental health struggles over the years, was snapped carrying her son Shane out of hospital in 2004
The Nothing Compares 2 U hitmaker then pleaded with her fans to be ‘supportive’ and keep hold of their tickets for 2022, when she vowed to return with a new album.
The singer described the music industry as a ‘very unforgiving place’ for those who need to postpone commitments ‘due to emotional or mental health issues’.
Sinead O’Connor’s most controversial moments
- After converting to Islam in 2018, the Irish performer wrote on Twitter that she does not want to be around ‘disgusting’ white people anymore
- During a performance in 1992, while singing a version of Bob Marley’s War, she changed some lyrics to call attention to abused children and held up a photo of Pope John Paul II, tearing it up and saying: ‘Fight the real enemy’
- Before a show in New Jersey in 1990, Sinead declined to have The Star-Spangled Banner played, which resulted in her being banned from a number of radio stations in the New York City area
- After attending the 1989 Grammy Awards, Sinead refused to attend the 1991 iteration of the awards despite receiving four nominations, calling out ‘false and destructive materialistic values’ of the music industry
- In 1999, she surprised her fans by declaring that she had become a priest
- In 2013, she wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus, warning her of the treatment women receive in the music industry
- Speaking about the late music icon Prince in an interview in 2014, Sinead said: ‘I did meet him a couple of times. We didn’t get on at all. In fact we had a punch-up.’
She even voiced her concerns that her decision could end her career, saying that if that were to happen ‘then so be it’.
The musician assured her fans that her memoir is still being released next year as she had originally planned and will be promoting her new venture online.
She has appealed to fans for help and prayers for her son’s wellbeing in the past, including an occasion when he went missing in January 2019.
She tweeted at the time: ‘My sweet 14 yr old son has been going missing a lot and is currently missing for the last two days.
‘If you are a parent in whose house he has been staying or is staying, please call Dundrum Gardai. Not calling them is not helping him.’
Shane was eventually found ‘safe and well’ three days after going missing from their Dublin home.
And last February, the mother-of-four asked her fans to pray for her teenage son Shane in a worrying cryptic post shared to Twitter.
She revealed that she’d had a ‘hideous day from hell’ as she made the appeal, writing: ‘Any spare prayers out there, pls stick one in for my son, Shane. The very light of my life.’
Although she did not disclose what happened, she added: ‘Hideous day from hell.’
Shane went missing earlier this week and was last seen in Tallaght, South Dublin, on Friday, with Gardai launching an appeal to find the teenager.
The police force reportedly confirmed on Saturday that the search for Shane had been ‘stood down’.
Taking to social media after Shane went missing, Sinead threatened Tallaght Hospital with a lawsuit if ‘anything happens to my son’, alleging that her son went missing from the hospital while on suicide watch.
Gardai renewed their appeal for assistance in tracing the whereabouts of Shane on Friday, writing: ‘Shane was last seen this [Friday] morning in the Tallaght, Dublin 24 area. Shane is described as being 5′ 6’ in height with short brown hair and blue eyes.
‘When last seen, he was wearing a black hoodie with a large print design in the centre, dark tracksuit pants, a wine coloured t-shirt and white runners. Gardaí are concerned for Shane’s welfare.’
A spokesman today told The Sun: ‘Following the recovery of a body in the Bray area of Wicklow on Friday, 7th January 2022, a Missing Person Appeal in respect of Shane O’Connor, 17 years, has been stood down.’
After confirming the news online, Sinead, who changed her name to Shuhada’ Davitt in 2018, also tweeted a Bob Marley song which she dedicated to Shane, heartbreakingly describing her son as her ‘blue-eye baby’ and the ‘light of my life’
WHAT IS BIPOLAR?
Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder which causes unusual and often sudden changes in mood and energy levels.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Moods of those with bipolar disorder range from periods of extreme elation and energy (known as a manic episode) to periods of extreme somberness and lack of energy (known as a depressive episode).
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
According to the International Bipolar Foundation, sufferers are diagnosed with rapid cycling if they have four or more manic, hypomanic, or depressive episodes in any 12-month period.
This severe form of the condition occurs in around 10 to 20 percent of all people with bipolar disorder.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Currently it is unknown what is the cause of bipolar disorder, which affects around 5.7 million US adults aged 18 or older.
Scientists say genetics could play a role or that those with a a family history of bipolar disorder are more likely to have it.
Taking to Twitter after Shane went missing, Sinead wrote: ‘Shane, your life is precious.
‘God didn’t chisel that beautiful smile on your beautiful face for nothing. My world would collapse without you.
‘You are my heart. Please don’t stop it from beating. Please don’t harm yourself. Go to the Gardai and let’s get you to hospital.’
She later took to the social media platform to threaten the hospital where she said her son had been staying with a ‘lawsuit’ if ‘anything happens to my son’.
She wrote: ‘Like, how has a seventeen year old traumatised young person WHO WAS ON SUICIDE WATCH in Tallaght Hosptial’s Lynn Ward been able to go missing???
‘Hospital of course so far refusing to take any responsibility. Anything happens to my son on their watch? Lawsuits.
‘I want to know why Lynn Ward at Taillight Hospital who were supposed to have HCA’s supervise my child 24/7 have managed to let him out of their grasp this morning when 7 days ago he made two severe suicide attempts.’ (sic)
MailOnline has contacted Tallaght Hospital for comment.
Another tweet read: ‘This is a message for my son, Shane. Shane, it’s not funny any more all this going missing.
‘You are scaring the c**p out of me. Could you please do the right thing and present yourself at a Gardai station.
‘If you are with Shane please call the Gardai for his safety.’
After confirming the news online, Sinead, who changed her name to Shuhada’ Davitt in 2018, also tweeted a Bob Marley song which she dedicated to Shane, heartbreakingly describing her son as her ‘blue-eye baby’ and the ‘light of my life’.
She penned: ‘This is for my Shaney. The light of my life. The lamp of my soul. My blue-eye baby.
‘You will always be my light. We will always be together. No boundary can separate us.’
For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details.
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