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Grief at death of Sinead O’Connor’s son Shane (17)


The late Shane O'Connor

The late Shane O'Connor

The late Shane O'Connor


There has been an outpouring of support for singer Sinead O’Connor and her family following the tragic death of her son, Shane.

Representatives of the singer confirmed on Saturday that the 17-year-old son of Ms O’Connor and musician Donal Lunny had passed away tragically.

The singer and former Bray resident confirmed Shane’s passing on Saturday and paid tribute to him in an emotional series of tweets. 

“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.”

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A missing person’s search for the 17-year-old was stood down on Saturday after his remains were found in an area of Bray on the border with Shankill, Co. Dublin.

Ms O’Connor (55) tweeted on Monday, January 11 that Shane is expected to be laid to rest later this week with just his parents in attendance at the service. 

Shane O’Connor was born in 2004 and is the second-youngest of Ms O’Connor’s four children.

He was a gifted child and when assessed at the age of eight, he was found to have the vocabulary and mathematical reasoning of a 16-year-old.

In December, Ms O’Connor tweeted a copy of a poem written by Shane which she said was “my favourite thing about 2021”.

In her recent memoir ‘Rememberings”, Ms O’Connor said Shane reminded her of Clint Eastwood.

“He could get himself into all kinds of trouble, but he is so calm and so sweet and so genuinely charming that he manages to sail through things without them affecting him terribly badly and I admire him for that.

“I know it is said that children like Shane can be difficult and challenging. But it is actually easy for me, because I’m an unusual kind of mother.

“Shane is not a square peg to be shoved into a round hole. He is the child who is most like me, I believe, to look at and by his nature — although he is of course the version with reason and logic. As Jack Nicholson might say, he is a very cool customer, Shane.”

Billy Redmond, the principal of North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School, where Shane attended, said: “It is with profound sadness that the Board of Management, staff and students of North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School have learned of the tragic death of Shane O’Connor, a past student of the school.

“The school’s Student Support Team is offering support to the students in school as appropriate.

“Our sincerest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Shane at this difficult time.”

Hundreds of messages offering support and condolences to Ms O’Connor and her family have been posted on social media. 

Representatives of Ms O’Connor also confirmed the sad news to the PA New agency on Saturday and requested respect for the singer and Shane’s family at this difficult time, according to the Irish Independent.

Gardaí in Shankill are assisting the Dublin District Coroner in the preparation of a file for the inquest.

As Shane was known to care services, the case has been referred to the National Review Panel (NRP).

The NRP carries out reviews of serious incidents including the deaths of children known to child protection services, with a view to improving the quality of services provided to children and families.

If you have been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this article, you can contact Samaritans on freephone 116 123, email jo@samaritans.ie or call Pieta House on 1800 247 247.