Sinéad O’Connor memorial grows in Bray ahead of funeral

Members of the public have been invited to say farewell to singer in Co Wicklow town on Tuesday morning ahead of private burial

Members of the public have been invited to say farewell to musician Sinéad O’Connor in Bray, Co Wicklow, on Tuesday morning ahead of a private burial.

A statement issued on Sunday on behalf of the singer’s family said people would have “an opportunity to pay their final respects to Sinéad O’Connor, when her funeral cortege will progress along the seafront in Bray, past the home that she lived in for 15 years, Montebello, Strand Road, in Bray, Co Wicklow.

“The route will begin at the Harbour Bar end of Strand Road and continue along the seafront to the other end of Strand Road where Sinéad and her family will then continue on to a private burial.”

An impromptu memorial of flowers, candles, lights and messages of sympathy has grown up at the entrance to Montebello since the singer’s death in London was announced on July 26th.


On Sunday, Lorna Scanlon from Howth stood quietly observing the wilting flowers and messages of sympathy. “I loved to listen to her,” she said. “My dad always had her on the speakers in the kitchen. She was inspiring.”

Among the tributes laid at the wall were flowers, cards and some chocolate bars. A plant set in a coffee jar formed part of a tribute from Ken Doyle and the band Bagatelle. “Rest in peace, Sinéad,” read the dedication.

Rhian O’Callaghan and Ronan Cleere from Waterford stopped by on their way to a football match in Dublin. “We all grew up listening to her. Her music was very influential,” said Ms O’Callaghan, while Mr Cleere said his dad Robbie, a music journalist, had interviewed O’Connor. “It is very sad,” he said.

Orla Murphy and Pauline Memery, from Ringsend, Dublin, described O’Connor’s music as “part of our upbringing”.

“She struggled”, said Ms Murphy, while Ms Memery said “she was one of our own”.

Bray resident Mary Kelly, who like others learned of the planned funeral procession on Sunday, said: “I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it,” she said. “It is one of those moments, isn’t it? You would tell the grandchildren.”

The O’Connor family statement read: “Sinéad loved living in Bray and the people in it. With this procession, her family would like to acknowledge the outpouring of love for her from the people of Co Wicklow and beyond, since she left last week, to go to another place.

“The gardaí have asked that people gather, if they would like to say a last goodbye to Sinéad, from 10.30am on Tuesday morning along the Bray seafront.”

The 56-year-old was found dead by London Metropolitan Police officers in her apartment just off Coldharbour Lane in Brixton last month, sparking an outpouring of tributes from her fans in Ireland and across the world.

Further tributes were paid over the weekend at music festivals including at the opening ceremony of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Mullingar.

Speaking at the event, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described O’Connor as a “musician, an activist and an artist” and said: “Her loss makes this fleadh bittersweet, a happy occasion but with a tinge of sadness.

“She was a wonderful traditional Irish music artist and her sixth album, Sean-Nós Nua, remains one of her best.”

The fleadh runs until August 14th in Mullingar, with more than 500,000 people expected to visit for the event. The Co Westmeath town also hosted the event last year, which was dubbed the “homecoming” as the fleadh was founded in Mullingar in 1951.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist