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Sinéad O’Connor

Sinéad O’Connor criticises Irish authorities after death of son Shane

Singer says 17-year-old left hospital while ‘on suicide watch’ and condemns Irish health service and family agency

Sinéad O’Connor announced her son’s death on Saturday, two days after he had been reported missing from Newbridge, County Kildare.

Sinéad O’Connor announced her son’s death on Saturday, two days after he had been reported missing from Newbridge, County Kildare. Photograph: TwitterNadia Khomami@nadiakhomamiSun 9 Jan 2022 18.09 GMT

Last modified on Sun 9 Jan 2022 21.49 GMT

Sinéad O’Connor has criticised the Irish authorities after the death of her 17-year-old son, Shane, whom she alleges left hospital while “on suicide watch”.

The singer announced the news of Shane’s death on social media on Saturday, writing: “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 O’Connor had been reported missing two days before his death, with the Garda Síochána launching an appeal for his whereabouts. He was missing from Newbridge, County Kildare, and was last seen on Friday morning in the Tallaght area of Dublin. Officers said they were concerned for his welfare.

O’Connor had previously alleged Shane was “on suicide watch”.

In a series of tweets on Saturday night, after police confirmation of his death, the Irish musician condemned authorities including the Irish health service HSE and the child and family agency Tusla, for their “refusal to accept responsibility”.

She wrote: “26 hours after my son died in so the so called care of the Irish State in the form of Tusla, I have yet to receive any contact from Tusla or their representatives. I was informed by Gardai of my son’s death and later I spoke with the GAL. No contact from Tusla is unacceptable.”

She later posted that she had “formally identified the remains of my son”, adding: “May God forgive the Irish State for I never will”.

In another tweet, she said: “Now Tusla want to discuss with me ‘a media release’ no doubt wishing to have me join in their efforts to make this death of my child seem like it wasn’t at the hands of the Irish State.”

An HSE spokesperson said: “The HSE cannot 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.”

Tusla and Tallaght hospital have been contacted for comment.

Shane was one of O’Connor’s four children, along with Jake Reynolds, Roisin Waters and Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio. She also tweeted a Bob Marley song, which she dedicated to Shane, describing him as her “blue-eye baby” and the “light of my life”.

The singer has been sent thousands of messages of condolences on social media, including from public figures and other mothers who have gone through similar ordeals.

The Pogues singer Shane MacGowan tweeted: “Sinead you have always been there for me and for so many people, you have been a comfort & a soul who is not afraid to feel the pain of the suffering.

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