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10th Jan 2022

Sinead O’Connor criticises Irish healthcare system after son’s death

Ellen Fitzpatrick

A tragedy.

**Content warning: This article contains references to suicide

Sinéad O’Connor has criticised the Irish mental health system following the death of her 17 year old son Shane, claiming he left hospital while on “suicide watch.”

Speaking candidly on Twitter about her son’s tragic and sudden death, Sinéad announced the news of Shane’s passing on Saturday saying: “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 had been reported missing two days before his death and Gardaí had launched an appeal to find him in the Newbridge area of Kildare.

He had last been seen in Tallaght, Dublin and officers were concerned for his welfare, but the singer has since alleged he was on “suicide watch”.

Speaking out about the Irish healthcare system, Sinéad condemned both the HSE and 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.”

After she had “formally identified the remains of my son”, the singer added: “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.”

According to The Guardian, a 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.”

Shane was one of four of Sinéad’s children, along with Jake Reynolds, Roisin Waters and Yeshua Francis Neil Bonadio.

If you have been affected by anything in this article, you can contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected]. You can also contact Pieta House on 1800 247 247 or Text HELP to 51444.