- 08 Jan 22
News of the death of Shane O’Connor, son of Sinead O’Connor and Donal Lunny, has inspired an outpouring of sympathy and support for the great Irish singer and for all the members of Shane’s family group...
It is with great sadness that Hot Press learned today of the death in tragic circumstances of Shane O’Connor, the 17 year-old son of two of Ireland’s all time greatest musicians, Sinead O’Connor and Donal Lunny.
Shane had been the subject of a missing persons alert since Thursday, when he left Newbridge, Co. Kildare. He was last seen in Tallaght on Friday. He was found in Bray Co.Wicklow.
Sinead paid tribute to Shane on Twitter. She described him as “The light of my life. The lamp of my soul. My blue-eyed-baby.
“You will always be my light,” she added. "We will always be together. No boundary can separate us.”
Sinead is the mother of four children: Jake (33), Roisin (25), Yershua (15) and Shane.
Donal Lunny, who is Shane’s father, is among the most important and influential Irish musicians of the past fifty years. He first achieved success with Emmet Spiceland, during the ballad boom in the 1960s, and was subsequently a founding member of three of Ireland’s finest groups, Planxty, The Bothy Band and Moving Hearts. Among the greatest innovators in Irish traditional and folk music, Donal is also one of Ireland’s most successful record producers.
Sinead has made no attempt to disguise the tragic nature of the loss of Shane.
"My beautiful son, Nevi’im Nesta Ali Shane O’Connor, the very light of my life,” she said on Twitter, "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.”
Sinead has stated that her son was on suicide watch in the Lynn Ward in Tallaght Hospital.
“How has a seventeen year old traumatised young person, who was on suicide watch, in Tallaght Hospital’s Lynn Ward been able to go missing???
“Hospital of course so far refusing to take any responsibility. Anything happens to my son on their watch? Lawsuits.”
Sinead has paid moving tribute to Shane, who was so unmistakably her son.
“Shane, your life is precious,” she said, while he was missing. "God didn’t chisel that beautiful smile on your beautiful face for nothing.”
Meanwhile the hospital has declined to comment on the circumstances of Shane’s death, or how he went missing.
"The HSE cannot comment on individual cases," they said in a statement, "when to do so might reveal information in relation to identifiable individuals, breaching the ethical requirement on us to observe our duty of confidentiality."
Supportive comments have been flowing across social media.
Among those paying moving tribute is Shane MacGowan, the former singer with The Pogues. "Sinead you have always been there for me and for so many people,” he said on Twitter "you have been a comfort & a soul who is not afraid to feel the pain of the suffering.
"You have always tried to heal & help. I pray that you can be comforted & find strength, healing & peace in your own sorrow & loss.
"He was a beautiful boy and I loved him. I pray that he can be at peace and also be able to stay connected with you. Love Shane."
Others to express their support include TV presenter Muireann O’Connell. "I am so terribly sorry for your tragic loss,” she said. "My thoughts are with you and your family."
Socialist politician Ruth Coppinger said: "So sorry for your loss. Heartbreaking."
And businesswoman and TV presenter Nora Casey also tweeted in support. "Sending you strength and heartfelt sympathies,“ she said, "no words can ease your broken heart - will light candles for your lovely son Shane - may he rest in peace."
In truth, there are no words that are adequate to such tragic circumstances. Hot Press extends its deepest, heartfelt sympathies to Sinead; to Donal; to Shane’s brothers and sister; and to the extended family. Our hearts, our thoughts and our love are with you.