Sex & The Single Girl

With a date at the Olympia Theatre looming in December, and a much anticipated album on the way in the new year, these are crucial times for Sinéad O’Connor. In a remarkable interview, she also discusses her search for a man, the lovers she has known, sex, sex – and more sex. Plus: Ireland of the squinting windows and the Catholic Church...

Jesus Christ!!! Sinéad O’Connor is well known for making bold, brave and provocative statements, but it seems she’s now taken to wearing them as well. When the 44-year-old singer cheerfully answers the front door of her seafront home in Bray, she’s vampishly dressed in a low-cut black frock which reveals a massive tattoo of the Son of God atop a heart and roses on her chest.

Bright, loud and garishly coloured, the tattoo is a seriously arresting image, like something you’d see inked on a hardcore Mexican gangbanger. Not wanting her to think I’m staring at her tits (which, admittedly, I’m also doing), I feel the need to make some kind of comment. Unfortunately, words fail...

“Eh… wow! That’s quite… em… like… em… Wow!”

She tells me she had it done in LA a few weeks ago, but doesn’t particularly want to discuss it. “There’s nothing worse than people talking about their tattoos or going on about Jesus,” she explains in her quiet and husky voice. “So I don’t do either. All I’ll say is that it took about three hours and was probably the worst fuckin’ pain I’ve ever experienced.”

Whatever about the religious skin art, Sinéad is looking better than she has done in ages. Recent photographs tended to make her look haggard and, well, a bit like she couldn’t be bothered about her appearance. Today, though, she looks more like the Sinéad of old – shaven-headed, slim and ever-so-slightly sultry.

She attributes this renewed interest in her looks to the nagging of her teenage daughter, Róisín. “I am not inclined to care, but now I have a 15 year-old daughter who cares,” she laughs. “She kicks my butt the whole the time. She doesn’t like me not caring. She’s quite into clothes and make-up, and she likes me to make an effort. She’s like a fucking Nazi! But it’s lovely having a daughter of that age. They’re all so girly – so you get to be a girl yourself.”

With two tiny Yorkshire Terriers snapping around her stiletto-heeled boots, Sinéad leads me through the house – which is spacious, high-ceilinged and feels comfortably lived-in – and out into a wooden structure in the back garden. Inside it, despite the framed pictures of the Virgin Mary on the walls, is a room built for decadence. There’s a large double bed, a couple of couches, a stereo, a small range with a roaring fire, a well-stocked fridge, and a bathroom.

She shares the house with her four children (who range in age from five to 24, and were all fathered by different men) and two male nannies, some of whom variously use the shed as a party/chill-out zone at different times.

“I always made it like I didn’t want my kids to be out in the street or round somebody else’s house, doing whatever the fuck they were doing,” she explains. “I just want to make sure they’re all here. So I always set it up that this was the party house, or this was the gathering house. So I had a good eye on everything they were doing and everyone they were doing it with.”

She’s doing this interview to promote her Olympia show on December 18. Although she played the Main Stage at this year’s Electric Picnic, it’ll be her first proper indoor show on home turf in about five years. “I’m pretty much always touring, but I haven’t played Ireland for ages,” she says. “Aside from Electric Picnic. That was a good gig. Apparently loads of things went wrong, but I didn’t notice. The band was apparently having a terrible time – but I had a great time.”

She admits to feeling nervous about the Olympia show. Recent gigs in Manchester and Iceland have garnered rave reviews, and the Evening Standard gave her London show the five-star treatment. But she’s been in the Irish headlines recently for non-music related activities. Whilst no stranger to controversy, to say the least, she’s worried that it might all have somewhat coloured people’s perception of her. So she’s doing this interview to remind everybody that, first and foremost, Sinéad O’Connor is a musical artist. And a damned fine one at that.

Her ninth studio album, What About I Be Me And You Be You, is already in the can, but won’t be released until early next year. It was originally to be called Home, but she changed the title in reaction to recent events. This latest SOC tabloid feeding-frenzy kicked-off in mid-August when she wrote an article in the Sunday Independent advertising her sexual frustration and desperate need for a decent man. Or at least a decent shag: “My situation sexually/ affectionately speaking is so dire that inanimate objects are starting to look good, as are inappropriate and/or unavailable men and/or inappropriate and/or unavailable fruits and vegetables. I tell you, yams are looking like the winners.” As it happened, your Hot Press correspondent was one of the first to offer to un-pent Sinéad’s obvious sexual frustration. The morning the article appeared, I sent her an email telling her she deserved a good OTK spanking. I was joking (kind of). She responded with “what the fuck does ‘OTK’ mean?” When I explained it meant ‘over the knee’, she shot back a “when and where?” message. I hastily backtracked, and still have no idea whether she was joking or not. Unless she mentions it, it’s not on my list of questions for today…

The public reaction to her Sindo article was absolutely predictable so the question has to be asked. As a relatively young, well-off, good-looking and internationally famous singer, could she not have gone about her search for a sexual partner in a slightly more discreet fashion?

She shakes her shaven head: “No, I don’t think I could have. I was going to join some dating agencies, and I knew if I did it was just going to end up in the newspapers anyway. So I figured I’d save myself the registration fees and just write a piece myself. Like, it was a longer ad and it was free. I wasn’t expecting to write any more than that, but then it just got to be really good fun.”

There’s a frustrated journalist in you…

“Yeah. Not terribly frustrated because I do get to write a lot. But if I hadn’t been a singer I would have been a journalist.”

Public reaction and media interest was so intense that she wound up writing another five Sindo articles about sex, not to mention countless rude and scatological tweets (mainly about her desire “to take it up the arse”).

“Yeah, Twitter rhymes with…” she says, grinning. “I had to stop tweeting because I was getting so much abuse. But I got bored as well.”

Do you get off on the haters?

“No, it’s very depressing.”

She insists that much of what she tweeted was intended as a joke.

“I get mischievous,” she explains. “You know, I think a lot of musicians have this thing, where they are basically quite immature. We’re not normal, that’s why we’re musicians. We’re not actually intelligent enough to be criminals. So we find stupid shit funny, and it’s all sexual innuendos. And like at gigs, in dressing-rooms, for ten years you’re with the same band and [we’d be] tittering behind our hands, sneaking bananas into each other’s bags at the end of the night. This kind of shit. And giggling like idiots every time we’re in Germany and somebody mentions fuckin’ sausages. We’re stupid, we’re fuckin’ maniacs, you know. So, I get mischievous.”

All joking aside, she has no real regrets about her six-week “sex period”.

“It was a very interesting experience, really,” she muses. “Obviously there was very mixed reactions, like half was, ‘Great’ and half was all, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t talk about this’ and, ‘You shouldn’t say this’ and, ‘You shouldn’t say that’ and

so on.

“And after a while I just began to feel this thing, like, well actually you know, how about I be fuckin’ me now? A bit like, how come it’s not okay to just fuckin’ be ourselves, like? We’re not doing any harm to anyone. So that’s really why I changed the album title. It was out of that whole six week experience of discussing things which are apparently not supposed to be discussed.”

What possessed you to do it in the first place?

“I wanted to find a boyfriend.”

Sinéad’s strategy worked. She actually has a new boyfriend out of all of this. He’s an addiction therapist who works with teenagers, but she doesn’t want to divulge any more than that. Somewhat inevitably, talk turns to sex and relationships. Growing up in the repressive ‘Holy Ireland’ of the ‘80s, she didn’t receive much in the way of sex education at school.

“We only had one sex education lesson ever in my school,” she recalls, with a smile. “I think I was probably about 12 or so, and this nun came into the room. And she sort of walked in almost backwards so we couldn’t see her, this old nun we’d never seen before. And she just walked up to the blackboard and she drew this, like, foot-long, huge, hard cock, with a big set of balls and everything. We just fuckin’ cried laughing – we just fell around the fuckin’ floor laughing. It was such a funny thing to see a nun do. And that was it, she ran out of the room. No more sex education!”

What age were you when you lost your virginity?

“I was 14. I had proper fuckin’ sexual crushes on grown men by the time I was eight, though.”

Are you into older men generally?

“Not really,” she says. “Although I seem to be in the habit of going out with guys older than me. Because I didn’t, sort of, intellectually identify with guys the same age as me. So it seems to be that probably the majority of guys I went out with were a good bit older than me.”

Sinéad has had a lot of boyfriends in her time – not to mention husbands. Her first marriage was to ace drummer and producer John Reynolds, who produced several of her albums, including the forthcoming one. He remains among her biggest fans and friends. In 2001 she married Daily Mirror journalist Nick Sommerlad after a whirlwind romance, but they split after less than a year.

Third time unlucky, she wed former Stockton’s Wing musician Steve Cooney last year, but their union lasted just eight months.

“That’s not something I’m gonna talk about,” she says of her marriage to Cooney. “Except to say that I think it’s too easy to get married. Like, I’ve been married three times, really I should only have been married once. And no-one should be married more than fuckin’ twice, to be honest.

“I don’t regret my first marriage, but I do regret the second. They are lovely people and I’ve no complaints about them as people, or whatever. But it was – and I’m sure they’d say the same – it was too easy to rush into something. They should make it more difficult to get married.”

Did you have pre-nups with any of your now ex-husbands?

She laughs. “No! I wouldn’t marry anyone that I felt I had to do that with! Like I say, I’ve been lucky that the people I was married to have been very good people. No-one ever asked me for a penny, they weren’t those kind of people. So, like, they were people I love and I don’t feel badly towards them or any of that kind of crap. It’s a girl thing. I think maybe I’m a bit romantic. I’m not now, though, after three fuckin’ times. But when you’re a girl you’re brought up with all this stupid fuckin’ marriage business. Some man’s gonna come and make everything grand and it’s gorgeous.”

Your wedding day will be the happiest of your life…

“Yeah, yeah. And all that kind of shit. But it’s all living, isn’t it?”

While she may not have found an ideal husband, Sinéad is no stranger to motherhood. She has four children by four different fathers – Jake, 24 (with John Reynolds), Roisin, 15 (with Irish Times columnist John Waters), Shane, seven (with musician Donal Lunny) and Yeshua, five (with surgeon Frank Bonadio, estranged husband of singer Mary Coughlan). “Two of them were designed and two of them were happy accidents,” she says of her brood. “I’m very lucky. The fathers of my children are amazing fathers, all four of them. My kids and I have been really lucky that way.”

For all the messiness of her personal life, she insists that she still sees sex and sexuality as a spiritual thing.

“Well, my thing was, look, fuck on through!” she says. “That was my motto. Because for me I believe sexuality is a godly thing. Even though I might talk bawdy or whatever, I do think – no matter how filthy, or not filthy, or sweet, or whatever it might be – it is actually a godly thing. So I’ve never bought into this teaching that somehow sex was evil, or that the desire for sex was evil, or that any of these things were wicked. But I did carry a bit of it, like when I was very young and I used to pretend I didn’t like sex.”

You pretended not to like it?

“Yeah, I thought that was what you were supposed to do,” she avers. “You know, I’d secretly like it and I’d be pretending I didn’t. I wasn’t sure whether it was sort of okay to like this, that or the other. But then I just decided, fuck on through! I wasn’t going to let either Ireland or the circumstances that I grew up in take that from me. So I just decided – not even just with sex, I suppose, but with other things in life. Anything I was scared of, I made a point of doing it. Until I wasn’t scared of it.”

You came out as a lesbian a few years back…

“Oh, well I dabbled, briefly,” she says, hiding a sly grin behind her coffee cup.

So are you actually bisexual or were you just bi-curious?

“Well, I was curious, yeah. I was an explorer.”

Are you still curious? Or are you done?

“No, I’m done there.”

Has Sinéad ever participated in an orgy? “No, I haven’t,” she admits, sorrowfully shaking her head. “I’d love to, but I can’t because I’m famous. There’s a whole lot of shit you don’t get to do because you’re famous. You can’t just walk into something like that, do you know what I mean?”

Surely you could just have an orgy with other famous people?

“Don’t want to shag any of them, though. The thing is, look, to me in my career, one of the things I learnt was that the biggest star-fuckers of all are the stars themselves. Alright? They are the biggest star-fuckers, and you just don’t wanna hang out with them. They’re assholes.”

Come on, Sinéad! You’ve had a few famous boyfriends...

She pulls a puzzled face. “Not really, no.”

Did you not go out with Anthony Keidis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers?

“No – never. I didn’t go out with Daniel Day-Lewis either. These things just get written as fact. The press just assume you’re shagging every bloke.”

I thought you wrote a song about Keidis?

“No, he wrote a song about me (it was ‘I Could Have Lied’ – OT). We were kind of friends. I didn’t know him very well. He was a really nice guy, but he tried it on with me one day, and I got very annoyed. I think it was because he kind of thinks he’s God’s gift to women. It must have been something about how he did it or something. I remember we were at the hospital and my son Jake was very sick, so it could have been that. Anyway, I don’t know, I lost the fuckin’ head with him.”

It might not have been the best time to try it on…

“Well, I scared the shit out of him. I can’t really think why I lost my temper that badly, but I really wasn’t into the idea… and I seemed to have upset him. So, no, I think the only famous boyfriend I ever had was probably Peter Gabriel, and he wasn’t really my boyfriend.”

How do you mean?

“I was his weekend pussy. I wasn’t a girlfriend.”

Sinéad still remains friendly with most of her exes.

“Well, so far I don’t think I’ve been too great at keeping them [as husbands/boyfriends]. I’m certainly great at keeping friends with I’d say 90% of the people that I’ve ever been out with. But relationship success doesn’t necessarily mean that you stay together. Relationships aren’t always supposed to. So I suppose success to me is, can you still be friends after whatever you go through with someone. And from that perspective, I’ve been very successful.

“Most people I went out with I went out with because I liked them. They’d usually be people who were friends, and probably I fell in love with, or whatever. So, you know, hopefully the friendship would last. I don’t like to sever things with people. And I think sometimes – Jesus, sometimes it’s not the case – but sometimes it’s healthier to have the argument and argue through until you get to the friendship, or whatever. And then obviously there are times when it’s easier that you don’t see each other for a while, or talk to each other for a while, until everything’s cool.”

Some of these life experiences have bled into the songs on her forthcoming album. Her first studio release since Theology in 2007, What About I Be Me And You Be You is as good a record as she’s ever made. In truth, Sinéad O’Connor is blessed with the kind of angelic voice that could give you goosebumps if she was singing a Jedward cover. It was produced by John Reynolds and recorded in the studio in his London home earlier this year.

“I love making records with John, because he either has the studio in his bedroom or some other part of the house that’s really casual. I actually made the whole record in my nightdress. Standing there, sort of, in my slippers and my nightdress.”

The album is dedicated to her novelist brother, Joseph, and also to her former boyfriend Frank Bonadio. It features more than a few love songs, and also some about love gone awry.

“It’s a very personal album, as most of my stuff tends to be,” she explains. “The album was written between 2007-2009, when I was going out with Frank, actually. So really any kind of love songs that are on there are about him. Probably most of the songs are inspired by him.”

Are you still friendly with Frank?

“Oh yeah, we’re like best mates. Frank asked me to mention, by the way, that he is available. And that he has a very enormous penis. He asked me to mention that whenever I possibly could, so that the girls are to call out to Bray, Number two, Martello Terrace, and he will service them all.”

Er… are you being serious?

She laughs and nods sincerely. “Yeah. He did ask me to say that. And I promised

I would.”

One of the album tracks, ‘Queen Of Denmark’, is among the angriest songs she’s ever recorded, with a screamed refrain of, “Why don’t you take it out on somebody else? Why don’t you bore the shit out of somebody else?”

“That was written by [American singer] John Grant,” she explains. “He just won the prize for ’Best Live Act in the World’, and he’s a fantastic songwriter. His album came out just this year and that’s the title track. My manager [Fachtna O’Ceallaigh] said to me, ‘You should do that song’. So I only got to know John, then, through having to email him because I couldn’t understand all the lyrics. And me and him now are like best fuckin’ mates. He’s the most amazing artist, incredible songwriter, incredible story and amazing character. You have to look him up. He wrote that song about a break-up of a relationship he was in. But I don’t see it as about a break-up – I can identify with it for all kinds of other reasons.”

Another song, ‘Old Lady’, seems to be about you pining for an unavailable man

[“When I’m an old lady/ I’m gonna be his baby… But that’s a way down the line/ I see for now he

isn’t mine”].

“Yeah, that one’s about having a crush on your boyfriend’s best friend – or rather your boyfriend’s married best friend. Which was Neil Jordan. I actually knew him before I knew Frank. They all knew I had a crush on him, so no-one will mind you writing that the song is about Neil.”

If sex is one obsession another consistent bugbear of Sinead’s is the Roman Catholic Church. The album’s caustic closing track ‘V.I.P.’ features the lines, “To whom exactly are we giving hope/ When we stand behind the velvet rope/ Or get our pictures taken with the Pope/ Like some sick April fool kinda joke.”

“It’s inspired by my trying to involve certain very, very, very internationally successful Irish artists, major artists, in the Church issue. And, being unsuccessful. And it strikes me as terribly heartbreaking that certain artists are not vocal on those subjects, or on any subjects that are actually important to Irish culture, given the role that artists have played in the past.”

You’re taking a pop at Bono, basically…

She nods. “And Geldof. And, um, things went badly there – you know, trying to kind of involve them… it’s important that we all just entertain and get the tits out and waggle our arses and sing all the gorgeous songs – that’s great. I want to do that as much as anyone. But I also think it’s important that we be conscious, because it was important in Irish history that the musicians and the artists are vocal about certain things. Because you’ve got to ask yourself, could it be that the fact that artists have stopped playing that role, does that play a part in a national stunned silence on certain issues, too?

“The Irish artists and musicians that I admire at the moment are the ones that have actually touched on the Church issue. And when we do go forward into the Second Republic, one of the structures we’re going to have to look at is our spiritual condition, as exemplified by the fuckin’ behaviour of everybody around the presidential election. Like, okay we really need help (laughs). So you know, musicians, they’re all at the Grammys, waving around their Grammys, saying ‘thanks to God’ to their fuckin’ Grammy. And then when there’s a pitch battle in the street for the honour of God, fuckin’ no one’s to be found. There’s tumbleweed. And that just pisses me off.”

Which contemporary Irish artists do you admire?

“The artist that I admire most in Ireland at the moment is Eleanor McEvoy, because she did a couple of songs about the Church on her album. She did a fantastic album, her last album, I’d Rather Go Blonde, and broached it on a song called ‘Deliver Me (From What You Do)’. And also Gavin Friday, I am in love with his album [catholic] at the moment. It’s a fantastic album, very powerful. So I admire those artists that are actually spiritually concerned. And have the balls to be concerned about that, and not concerned with fuckin’ George Bush’s dick. It’s very hard to sing when you’ve got someone’s dick in your mouth.”

She shoots a mischievous grin before adding, “I’ve tried.”

If Pope Benedict XVI walked into this room right now, what would you say to him?

“I would ask him politely to leave. Rasta don’t sit with the devil.”

As far as Sinéad O’Connor is concerned then, Ireland is still very much a miserable, Church-infested, uptight shithole. So has she ever considered leaving?

“I would not by choice live here, because it is still a bit too squinting windows. But generally, I think, that until all of us over-35s are dead, it’s still going to happen. All that old theocratic DNA, the squinting windows back in Magdalene laundry mentality. There’s still an awful lot of it. It’s everywhere. Well you look over it all during the presidential build-up, it’s just an ugly place, it’s an ugly place full of ugly shit, still. So by nature I wouldn’t like to live here, but I think it’s better for the kids – and obviously their fathers are here. So I wouldn’t take them away from their fathers.”

Where would you live?

“Probably in America actually. I wouldn’t raise children there. But if I had no children, I’d live in America. I love American people and it’s an amazing place. But, yeah, Ireland’s a bit of a weird fuckin’ place

to live.”

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had happen to you here, in

recent times?

“Well, I was seeking out treatment for a medical condition – quite a serious medical condition that I had, and which I no longer have. And I was seeing a particular person for treatment, quite a high-up medical person. And I found myself on almost a regular basis being subjected to lectures, when I went there, on my moral values.

“So I’d go there for my medical check-up, to find out what was going on, and this person would sit me down and start telling me what a bad person I am. You know, my morals are this, that and the other, and my children are gonna be this, that and the other, and just because I’m talking about sex, or whatever I’m doing. And I’m like, ‘Hold on, I came here for a medical examination, I didn’t come here for a fuckin’ lecture on morals, thanks!’”

I would have thought you’d just tell someone like that to fuck off?

“Well, I should have, but I didn’t. Instead I cried and got very upset. I turned it on myself. It was only afterward I was thinking, ‘Hmm…’ And the more I think about it, the more fucking outrageous it is, you know. So there may be grounds for making some kind of complaint, but I don’t know whether I can be bothered. I just think: it’s Ireland. It’s still a bit Magdalene, you know, and the kind of woman I am, it’s confusing – and I’m a threat.

“I don’t think I’m doing any harm,” she continues. “So I don’t know why I should be subjected to moral fuckin’ bullshit. It kind of amuses me, really, but then… (shrugs). The more I watched the presidential thing, the less I began to take certain things personally. Because I just realised, ‘Oh my god, tthis is really still quite a fucked-up country.

“And what’s alarming to me is how little the artists seem to give a shit, specifically the musical artists. Because if you look back at 1916, you look at Irish history and you see that artists were an enormous part of history. Even when we learnt at school about these things, it was teaching us what the artists were doing. You learnt about Pearse and you learnt about Yeats and all those people, you know. And now it’s just silence from artists, they’re doing nothing.

“So, I think someone like me is threatening everything. And in some ways, as well, I’m a catalyst. I’m saying and doing all the shit that Irish women – or that Irish people – are not supposed to say or do.”

That said, as a proud parent of four, she still sees great hope for the next generation of young Irish people.

“Oh, I think the younger generation are fuckin’ phenomenal!” she enthuses. “That’s why I think I can’t wait for their sake, I can’t wait ‘til we’re all dead. There’s a lot of kids hanging around this house so I get a great insight into the kind of people they are. And they’re really amazing people, and again I see with Róisín, she’s 15, and they’re just fuckin’ incredible to each other.

“They love each other and they just can’t stand any type of homophobia. They’ll walk out on their own fathers and mothers if there’s a fuckin’ negative remark made about gay people. They have an enormous sense of how they deserve to be treated like gods and goddesses, and they don’t take anything less than that. And they’ll get up and walk away from anyone who they feel disrespected by, which is amazing, without screaming or shouting. They’ll just say, ‘Actually no, I am priceless and precious and I’m not going to sit here and listen to that’. And they stand up for each other, and they’re very forward thinking and everything.

“So I’m really confident about Ireland when I hang out with teenagers. I realise it’s going to be a fuckin’ incredible place when all of us over-35s have fucked off.”

And with that, Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor puts down her coffee cup and says, “Shit! I’ve gotta go pick Shane up from school. Do you want a lift to the station?”

It would seem that a ride is still not out of the question…

Sinéad O’Connor plays the Olympia Theatre on December 18. What About I Be Me And You Be You will be released on One Little Indian in February 2012.

 

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Free Music Friday

Starring Rubberbandits, Sinéad O'Connor, Gold Panda, Manic Street Preachers, Imogen Heap, St. Vincent and... Michael Cera?

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Sinéad O’Connor - I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss

Sinéad takes control on gloriously matriarchal new LP.

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LISTEN: Sinead O'Connor's new album

I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss is now available to stream online ahead of the official release.

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WATCH: New Sinéad O'Connor video

Hot Press is delighted to bring you this first look at the finished video for ‘Take Me To Church’, one of the standouts from Sinéad O'Connor’s I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss album which drops here on August 8 and has been garnering universally positive reviews.

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Sinéad O’Connor: 'I won’t play in Israel'

Sinéad O’Connor has spoken exclusively to Hot Press about a show she was reportedly due to have played on September 11 in Caesarea, a town located half-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa.

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LISTEN: New Sinead O'Connor single now streaming

'Take Me To Church' is the lead angle from I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss.

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LISTEN: New Sinead O'Connor single now streaming

'Take Me To Church' is the lead single from I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss.

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Sinéad O'Connor reveals album title + striking cover image

Sinéad O’Connor’s new album is to be called I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss – a reference to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign.

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Sinead O'Connor back with her fourth husband, Barry Herridge

Sinéad O’Connor has reunited with her husband, Barry Herridge, who she broke up with in December 2011 after just 16 days of married life.

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Sinead O'Connor lambasts Facebook naysayers on NYE

The singer bemoans "idiots" complaining about her cancelled shows.

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Sinéad O'Connor for proposed Blind Willie Johnson tribute

Sinéad O’Connor is one of the high-profile artists ready to leap into studio action if a proposed Blind Willie Johnson tribute album raises the required $125,000 Kickstarter funds by November 16.

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Sinéad sends Miley new open letter demanding an apology

Sinéad O’Connor’s online war of words with Miley Cyrus continues to simmer away. Appearing last Friday on the Late Late Show, O’Connor said she wanted an end to the highly publicised spat and the spotlight to be shone instead on the overly-controlling nature of the mainstream music industry.

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Sinead O'Connor on the Late Late tonight

Sparks should fly...

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Mental health campaigner lambasts Miley Cyrus

Filmmaker and author Jonny Benjamin, who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in his early 20s, has joined the Sinéad O’Connor/Miley Cyrus debate.

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O’Connor Threatens Miley Cyrus With Legal Action

The “lettergate” war of words between Miley Cyrus and Sinéad O’Connor has intensified.

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Cyrus Hits Back At Sinéad With Mental Health Jibe

Miley Cyrus’ supposed admiration for Sinéad O’Connor has taken something of a dark turn.

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Sinead O'Connor tells Miley Cyrus to stop "the pimping"

Sinéad O'Connor has issued an open letter to Miley Cyrus after the younger singer revealed in her Rolling Stone cover story that she's a fan.

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Sinead O Connor Parkpop

Sinead O Connor Parkpop

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Sinead O'Connor reacts to Papal announcement

Sinead O'Connor is among the millions – both Catholic and not – reflecting on Pope Benedict's statement this morning.

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Look Back On Anger

Twenty years ago, on October 3 1992, Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of the Pope on the iconic US television show Saturday Night Live. It was a moment that would change her career – and her life.

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Sinéad O'Connor on Pope pic controversy

The singer opens up to Hot Press about the infamous 1992 SNL appearance which saw her rip up a picture of Pope John Paul II...

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Exclusive: Sinéad O’Connor reveals truth about Pope and Saturday Night Live

In a new interview in Hot Press, Sinéad O’Connor has revealed completely new facts about the most notorious incident in her career...

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Sinead O'Connor pulls out of Marlay Park gig

Singer announces cancellation on Twitter

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Sinead O'Connor To Guest at Marlay Park, Dublin

Sinead O'Connor will be a surprise guest at Marlay Park, on August 25th.

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Sinead starts petition to aid the suicidal

The singer spoke exclusively to Hot Press...

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Sinéad O'Connor for Curtis Mayfield tribute show

Singer has reversed her decision to retire...

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Sinead Confirms Split With Fachtna

Sinead O'Connor has moved to set the record straight in relation to her split with manager Fachtna O Ceallaigh, who she says was her manager "until two weeks ago."

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Sinead O'Connor cancels 2012 tour

The singer also appears to have announced her retirement from music.

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Barretstown Inspirations Live to be screened on 3e

There will be performances from the likes of Sinead O'Connor and An Emotional Fish.

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Sinéad O'Connor and more for Barretstown gig

All in aid of a very good cause...

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L.A. Confidential

With the unpleasant tabloid scrutiny she’s been under recently, it’s easy to forget that Sinéad O’Connor is one of Ireland’s most powerful creative musical forces. Her soon-to-be-released new album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You?), already has critics purring with delight. When Sinéad travelled to the City of Angels to perform at a pre-Golden Globe event, Olaf Tyaransen went with her to report on the latest chapter in her remarkable life.

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Chimes of Freedom: Dylan cover album out Friday

Headed up by Sinead O'Connor, 75 newly covered Dylan songs salute Amnesty.

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WATCH: Sinead O'Connor covers Bob Dylan

An angelic take...

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Sinéad O'Connor enters hospital

Outspoken star to be treated for depression...

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Sinead O'Connor

In an evening of delicious treats, it is especially lovely to be introduced to Roisin, Sinéad’s beautiful daughter, who sings angelic backing vocals.

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its Time To Get Stroppy

For too long, Ireland has been pushed around by the international vested interests represented by the EU, the ECB and the IMF. With the dawn of a new year, it is time for us to start fighting back...

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Olaf Tyaransen To Write Sinéad Biography

Controversial singer meets controversial writer - explosive results guaranteed...

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Sinead O'Connor Announces Marriage Over

The statement is carried on her website. Here it is in full.

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Sinead O'Connor, live at The Olympia

A newly married Sinead O'Connor celebrates in style on the Olympia stage.

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Sinead O'Connor @ Olympia Theatre, Dublin

It was all about the music at this triumphant gig at the famous Dublin venue

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Sinead O'Connor to release new album in February

The newlywed has inked a new record deal....

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Sinead O'Connor set to wed

She announced this morning that the big day is tomorrow.

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Sinead O'Connor on her favourite Irish artists

Eleanor McEvoy and Gavin Friday get the thumbs up in the new issue of Hot Press.

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Sinead O'Connor heads up Dylan covers album

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Sinéad O’Connor for December date in Dublin

It'll be a full band performance in the Olympia on December 18.

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Sinéad O'Connor album delayed until 2012

The follow-up to Theology will surface next year.

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Sinéad O'Connor marries Steve Cooney

The singer also has a new album on the way.

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The Lion & The Cobra

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I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got

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Sinead O’Connor's letter calling on Pope to stand down

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Sinead O'Connor Calls On The Pope To Stand Down

Sinead O’Connor has called on the Pope to stand down, and the Irish Government to expel the Papal Nuncio.

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Sinead O'Connor records anti-child prostitution single

Mary J. Blige and Santigold are also supporting the project.

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Sinead O’Connor to play London's Pigalle Club

Jack L and Mary Coughlan are also appearing in Vince Power's supper club.

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Sinead & Shane confirmed for Barretstown gig

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Sinead O'Connor releases live CD/DVD

Sinéad O’Connor fans will want to invest in Theology: Live At The Sugar Club, a limited-edition deluxe CD/DVD, which is available exclusively from sineadoconnor.com.

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Sinead O'Connor to collaborate with John Waters

Sinead O’Connor has collaborated with former Hot Press scribe John Waters on a charity song that will be released in March.

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Republic Of Loose & Sinead O'Connor to release duet

Having had a whale of a time readying it for the Meteors, Sinéad O’Connor and Republic Of Loose have decided to release their cover of Curtis Mayfield’s ‘We People Who Are Darker Than Blue’.

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Sinead O'Connor in The Olympia, Dublin

Sinead’s voice and the band, honed from months on the road, are at the absolute peak of their powers. Lots of fans I spoke to afterwards felt they’d never heard her sound better.

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Sinead O'Connor appears on Oprah

Sinéad O’Connor was back in the American media spotlight last week when she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

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Something Beautiful

The optimistic title of this track almost sets itself up for failure, but in this case ‘Something Beautiful’ is a fitting tribute. This is vintage Sinéad, her distinctive voice still soaring although it sounds more world-weary than before. ‘Something Beautiful’ has a sacred air and the lyrics are laced with religious imagery (befitting of an album named Theology) but it is not so overtly religious that it suffocates the magic.

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Sinead O'Connor announces headline date

Sinéad O’Connor drums up trade for her Theology album with a November 18 soiree at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre.

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Actually, you'd better leave that out. That's off the record!

Shane MacGowan interviews Sinead O’Connor for hotpress, with Olaf Tyaransen acting as referee. On the day, Victoria Clark also sat in. What followed turned into a wide-ranging and often hilarious exchange of almost Beckettian dimensions.

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Theology

With Theology, Sinéad re-invigorates the ancient genre of the hymn in her own inimitable way, and brings it back to a contemporary public.

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Sinead O'Connor for orchestral concert

Sinead O'Connor is to play a special concert in Limerick

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Sinead O'Connor live at Heineken Green Energy Festival, Dublin Castle

Sinéad O’Connor's voice is still capable of enchanting you with its fragility and blowing you away with its power, but maybe we all expected that, because at first it’s the bravely mixed set-list that grabs your attention.

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I Don't Know How To Love Him

From her forthcoming Theology album, this version of the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber classic from the Jesus Christ Superstar rock opera almost seems tailor-made for the controversial chanteuse. Originally sung in the musical/movie by Mary Magdalene (expressing her confused feelings for Jesus just before the crucifixion) it was seen as blasphemous in some quarters in its day and even now the lyrics would raise an eyebrow or two. Of course Sinéad sings it beautifully with no little passion while stylistically and sonically it’s the nearest thing she’s done to ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ in ages and could well prove a winner.

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Sinéad O'Connor new single details

Sinéad O'Connor's already gained one celeb fan of her new cover single - legendary composer Tim Rice.

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Sinead O'Connor reveals full album details

Sinead O'Connor has announced the tracklisting and release date of her new album Theology.

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Sinead O'Connor to headline Dublin Castle

Sinead O'Connor makes her return to the live foray in style - she's set to headline a day of the Heineken Green Energy Festival.

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Sinead O'Connor releases free audio Christmas card

Sinead O’Connor will be releasing two newly recorded songs as a special audio Christmas card on December 15.

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Sinéad O’Connor live at The Sugar Club

The prospect of an intimate evening with Sinead O’Connor, at which she would unveil songs from her new album, was an intrigung one.

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Sinéad O’Connor to collaborate with Peter Gabriel

After her critically acclaimed reggae album Throw Down Your Arms, the first lady of Irish music is back with a collaboration and her own newie.

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Sinead O'Connor talks exclusively to Hot Press

Sinead O'Connor isn't exactly one to take things lying down, and some US websites are about to find this out for themselves. In an exclusive chat with Hot Press she puts the story straight and talks about her next album. Only here folks!

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Sligo Live headliners revealed

The acts for this year's festival plan to attract audiences from all over Ireland.

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Sinéad O’Connor duets with Lee "Scratch" Perry

Having covered two of his songs on her Throw Down Your Arms album, Sinéad O’Connor duets with Lee “Scratch” Perry on the American version of his Panic In Babylon set.

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Untold Stories

Who’d have bet money on Sinéad O’Connor making such an acclaimed return to music with any album, let alone one made up of old reggae tunes? Still, that’s about the size of it and Untold Stories is one of that particular record’s stand out moments and ironically one of its least dub influenced. Instead, O’Connor focuses on the folk element of Jamaican music to stirring effect and ends up sounding more resonant than we might have reasonably expected. Mighty stuff.

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Sinead O'Connor

Tonight, from Bob Marley’s ‘War’ to Burning Spear’s ‘Jah Nuh Dead’, Sinéad O’Connor and her sidekicks deliver in spades. On a musical level, the reggae-fuelled set is funky, moving and, above all, inspiring.

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Sinead O'Connor feat. Sly & Robbie at The Helix, Dublin

Always a spiritual performer, in her new role as preacher of all things Rasta, Sinéad seems to the manor born. The lesson here is that less is more.

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Sinead's date with Jools

Sinéad O’Connor is among the guests on Friday October 21 as Later With Jools Holland returns to BBC 2 for what is remarkably its 26th series.

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Throw Down Your Arms

With characteristic unpredictability, Sinéad has re-emerged after a period in retirement with a Rasta album, in which she covers a collection of her own personal reggae classics.

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Sinead O'Connor live at Kingston, Jamaica

Proffering a delicious taste of her forthcoming album, Throw Down Your Arms, due for release this autumn, Sinead O’Connor thrilled punters at the Prime Minister’s 2005 Independence Gala in Jamaica with her impassioned version of Bob Marley’s ‘War’, accompanied on drum and bass by famous riddim twins, Sly and Robbie.

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Sinéad O’Connor plans a welcome return

As predicted in the last issue of Hotpress, Sinéad O’Connor is touring in support of her new reggae covers album, Throw Down Your Arms.

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Sinead O'Connor: back with a reggae album

Sinéad O’Connor has confirmed details of her eagerly awaited reggae covers album, Throw Down Your Arms.

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Sinéad O’Connor confirms new album details

Sinéad O’Connor has confirmed details of her eagerly awaited reggae covers album, Throw Down Your Arms.

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Sinead O’Connor Asks: Are We Free To Criticise George Bush?

Bob Geldof says: “Yes”

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Sinead O'Connor and Kevin Shields join Meltdown

Curator Patti Smith has invited a host of top artists to this year's Meltdown festival

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Sinead O'Connor to perform at the Jammy Awards

Having recently announced her return to music, Sinead O'Connor will be performing at the New York awards ceremony next week

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Sinead O'Connor to release Collaborations album

Sinead O'Connor has announced details of a new collection of collaborative work

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Sinead O'Connor's nude painting sold to highest bidder

Jim Fitzpatrick's nude painting of Sinead O'Connor has sold at auction for €15,000

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World Exclusive: The Comeback Kid - Sinead O'Connor annonces her comeback

It's almost two years since Sinead O'Connor announced her retirement from music. However, it was always on the cards that she would find her voice again. The good news is that she has. She explains all in an exclusive interview with Niall Stokes...

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John Reynolds on The Lion And The Cobra (11/100)

"Sinéad was pretty relaxed. She didn’t tap into the ‘making a record for the label’ thing. She made music for her own reasons, which were deeper than that. That’s why the songs ring so true..."

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Sinead O'Connor makes desperate appeal to the media

Sick of being the "the whipping post of Ireland's media", Sinead O'Connor has expressed her own sentiments in a recent newspaper advertisement

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A Hundred Thousand Angels

A worthy buy, indeed, if only for the odd-ball reggae version on the B side.

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Sinead O'Connor releases live DVD

You've bought her new album, now you can purchase the new DVD - The Value Of Ignorance/The Year Of The Horse is now available in stores

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She Who Dwells In The Most Sacred Place Of The Most High Shall Abide Under The Shadow Of The Almighty

This is a fitting memorial to Sinéad’s relentless struggle to transcend the mundane, the vacuous and the predictable. As a farewell album it’ll do fine until the next one.

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Sinead O'Connor to release new CD and DVD

The High Priestess of Irish music announces details of a double CD and DVD release prior to her retirement from the music industry

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"It's bullshit. I'd rather starve."

More on why Sinead O'Connor's quitting the music biz, plus her guest appearance with Damien Dempsey

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"My gut instinct is that Sinead O'Connor will always continue to sing..."

Other Voices: Songs From A Room director Philip King reacts to news of Sinead O'Connor's retirement from public life - and praises "one of the world's very best singers"

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Sinead O'Connor announces her retirement

In one of the most dramatic developments in Irish music in decades, Sinead O'Connor has said that she will retire from the music business in three months time

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Sinead O'Connor

In the face of no little adversity this was a triumph.

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With bells on

Sinead O'Connor and Damien Dempsey re-live the fairytale on Irish all-star Christmas album It's All Bells

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Graham cracker

Get set for a v. special V Graham Norton tonight - featuring no less than Sinead O'Connor

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Nothing compares...

Following the runaway success of her nationwide tour, Sinead O'Connor announces a Point Theatre date in January

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She looks healthy, rested and fighting fit. Her band, consisting of bass, drums, banjo/whistle, cello, guitar and keyboards/ accordion, look like they’re here for a groove-laden run through some trad tunes, which, it transpires, they certainly are

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Sean-Nós Nua

Sean-Nós Nua, we are told, is the album that she has wanted to make for years

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Sinead O'Connor hits the small screen

The making of Sean Nos Nua has been captured on film by Bringing It All Back Home Director, Philip King.

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Paddy's Lament

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Old is the new new

Details released about Sinead O'Connor's upcoming Donal Lunny-produced trad album, Sean-nos Nua

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The Irish voice

The legendary Sinead O'Connor announces first Irish tour in years

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Sinéad remembers Steve

STEVE FARGNOLI, the artist manager who numbered SINÉAD O'CONNOR among his clients, lost his battle with cancer earlier this month. STEPHEN ROBINSON reports

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Sinéad goes on the attack

Sinéad O’Connor has recorded four tracks with Massive Attack

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Faith And Courage

It s been four years since the last Siniad O Connor album. By any standards, even for a major artist, that s a long time, inevitably heightening speculation about where Siniad s muse was likely to take her.

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Universal Mother

SINEAD O’CONNOR : “Universal Mother” (Ensign)

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You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart

Sinead O’Connor: “You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart” (Island)

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I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

Sinéad O'Connor's records don't necessarily reveal themselves speedily. I know that, on the first hearing, 'The Lion and the Cobra' seemed to me an ill-fitting match of various discordant styles. I didn't really crack it 'till its sixth time round my turntable.

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Sinéad: The Bald Facts

At the tender age of seventeen, Dubliner Sinéad O'Connor packed up Ton Ton Macoute, packed her bags and headed for London. Two years on she's had a few close shaves, recorded with the Edge and is on the verge of seriously launching her career with an album in January. Interview: Molly McAnailly Burke.

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