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08th Aug 2023

Fans gather in Bray to say final goodbye to Sinéad O’Connor

Fans have gathered in Bray this morning to say their final goodbye to the late Sinéad O’Connor as her funeral takes place.

Following her sudden death last month in London, the singer’s funeral cortége passed through Bray, a place she called home for 15 years.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina as well as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar are all in attendance at the private funeral service.

“The outpouring of grief and appreciation of the life and work of Sinéad O’Connor demonstrates the profound impact which she had on the Irish people,” President Higgins said.

“The unique contribution of Sinead involved the experience of a great vulnerability combined with a superb, exceptional level of creativity that she chose to deliver through her voice, her music and her songs.

“The expression of both, without making any attempt to reduce the one for the sake of the other, made her contribution unique – phenomenal in music terms, but of immense heroism.

“However, achieving this came from the one heart and the one body and the one life, which extracted an incredible pain, perhaps one too much to bear.

“That is why all those who are seeking to make a fist of their life, combining its different dimensions in their own way, can feel so free to express their grief at her loss.”

The funeral service also saw Chief Imam at the Islamic Centre of Ireland, Dr Umar Al-Qadri, sharing prayers for the Nothing Compares 2 U singer.

The route began at The Harbour Bar end of Strand Road and continued for over a kilometre until it reached the seafront.

It is then set to pass the home Sinéad lived in on Strand Road before heading on to a private burial.

The funeral cortége is passing through Bray between 11.30am and 12.30pm, according to Gardaí, who said in a statement: “It is expected the funeral procession will stop briefly in this area at some stage between these times.

“As there is limited parking on the seafront, An Garda Síochána are advising people to use public transport if possible, as the DART can bring people right to this location.”

Irish Rail has said in a statement that trains to Bray are “significantly busier than normal”.

A spokesperson said: “Darts arriving to Bray are significantly busier than normal for mid-morning services, with people travelling to pay their respects to Sinead O’Connor.

“Our station manager advises me the last three trains arriving in particular have been quite busy, and that’s expected to continue over the next hour.”

During the funeral service, Sinéad’s 1990 hit Nothing Compares 2 U was played through speakers as crowds at Bray seafront began standing on walls outside her home to pay their respects.

Many awaiting the procession to pass were seen holding flowers and Irish flags.