What's Come Out About Sinéad O'Connor Since Her Death

Two weeks after Sinéad O'Connor's death on July 26, 2023, thousands of her fans lined the street in front of her former home in the Republic of Ireland to pay a final tribute. A hearse carrying the body of the 56-year-old singer-songwriter slowly rolled through Bray — where O'Connor had lived for 15 years — and stopped briefly in front of her former home on the Strand Road. 

Later that day, August 8, 2023, there was a private funeral attended by her family, friends, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, Bono and The Edge of the band U2, and others. Since her death, which the Metropolitan Police aren't treating as suspicious, a coroner conducted an autopsy to determine the cause of her death — revealed in January 2024 to have been from natural causes (via People). Meanwhile, her family has spoken out through the media to thank her fans for their support.

Sinead O'Connor died from natural causes

Sinéad O'Connor had only been living in South London for a few weeks when the police came to her home in the city's Brixton neighborhood that July morning. They were there for "reports of an unresponsive woman at a residential address in the SE24 area," the Metropolitan Police told People. The next day, on July 27, the London Inner South Coroner's Court announced on its website that "no medical cause of death was given" and the coroner would be conducting an autopsy.

The Irish Times reported on August 3 that the coroner had concluded the autopsy and returned O'Connor's body to her family. As noted by People, the cause of O'Connor's death was given as "natural causes" and the investigating body, London Inner South Coroner's Court, has finalized their inquiry into the singer's untimely death. No further information or details have been released. 

Family's response

Sinéad O'Connor's youngest son, 17-year-old Shane O'Connor, died by suicide in January 2022. Her three surviving children — Jake, Roisin, and Yeshua — and her extended family thanked the "national and international outpouring of love and affection for Sinéad from the time of her passing" in a statement to The Irish Times on August 25, 2023. The statement personally thanked Irish President Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabina, and Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (known as the Taoiseach). Interestingly, the family also thanked The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (KBRT), which they said "facilitated the bringing home of Sinéad's body to Ireland."

The family of Kevin Bell, a 26-year-old Irish immigrant killed by a hit-and-run driver in New York City, founded KBRT in 2013 to help aid other families with getting the remains of their loved ones back to Ireland through "financial support as well as advice and guidance." O'Connor's family also thanked her "fans and admirers for the wonderful funeral procession they gave her past her old home in Bray." Following the procession, the family had a private burial in Deansgrange Cemetery in Bray. A Druid led the ceremony, which included a sheik reciting Muslim prayers and music.

O'Connor's final messages to Bob Geldof

As her star-studded funeral made clear, Sinéad O'Connor was hugely respected within the music industry, particularly in her native Ireland. Speaking to the crowd at Ireland's Cavan Calling Festival in the wake of her death, The Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof claimed that the late singer went to countless of his group's gigs and hailed her as one of the finest voices in Irish music, the Irish Examiner reported. Sadly, he also described the last correspondence with O'Connor — a series of text messages which he described as filled with "desperation and despair, while some were ecstatically happy," evoking the bipolar disorder that she experienced throughout her life.

The Boomtown Rats is one of the biggest acts in Irish music. The group meant a lot to O'Connor, and Geldof — who was 15 years older than O'Connor — lived just a few hundred feet from her childhood home. He and his band were a huge influence on the "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer while she was a teenager, to the point that she would hang pictures of him up in her school. 

A new song was released

Sinéad O'Connor was open about her own personal experiences of the Magdalene laundries. In 2010, she wrote a column in The Washington Post describing having been taken to a youth detention center after being caught shoplifting at the behest of her abusive mother. There, she says she witnessed nuns separating a friend from her newborn baby, per The Guardian.

O'Connor's longtime producer David Holmes learned that a new drama about the Madeleine laundries — "The Woman in the Wall" — was in production, and its creators were O'Connor fans. He contacted the singer and convinced her to offer a song for the soundtrack. She agreed to give "The Magdalene Song," a previously unreleased track that perfectly chimed with the subject of the show. Speaking to The Guardian, Holmes said, "It's incredible how the meaning of the song came together with this story. It was just meant to be. There's a certain magic when you bring music to an emotive story."

O'Connor's family must now handle the difficult decision of whether to posthumously release more of her unheard music, including "No Veteran Dies Alone," the studio album she had been working on since at least 2018.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.